(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Songs of the stalwart"

U N u b (J 1 
HE STALWART 



i RANT LAND RICE 




SONGS OF THE STALWART 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

BY 
GRANTLAND RICE 




D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 

NEW YORK LONDON 

1917 



Copyright, 1917, by 
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY 



Printed in the United States of America 



1225 $7 



TO MY WIFE 



37163G 



INTRODUCTION 

Grantland Rice is a sweet and kindly human 
being who has a habit of saying things in a sweet 
and kindly way. Sometimes he says them in 
verse, which is still better. 

You like Grantland Rice s prose stuff until 
you have read some of his verses. Then you 
wonder why he doesn t write in rhyme all the 
time. Then some day you read one of his base 
ball stories, and you decide that there is a good 
deal to be said on both sides of this proposition. 

Grant Rice is almost the only man I know 
who has made literature of the sporting depart 
ment of a daily paper not merely smart jour 
nalism, but actually literature matter that has 
good diction, swift, sharp, crackling metaphor, 
deft phrasing, smooth, clarified English. And 
his jingles very frequently are more than just 
rhymes. They are rhythm. 

He was born shortly after the Reconstruction 



V 111 INTRODUCTION 

Period went out of fashion in the blue grass 
country of Tennessee oh, yes, Tennessee has 
a blue-grass belt, too and he came to New 
York by way of Atlanta, Georgia, where he 
wrote sport stuff which was reprinted all over 
the country, sometimes with due credit to the 
author and sometimes without it, which was an 
even greater compliment to the young man. I 
have heard that when a New York paper offered 
him a job and he accepted it, he was scared 
stiff for fear he wouldn t be able to deliver. He 
need not have been. He made good twenty 
minutes after he landed in the Big Town. Per 
haps I am exaggerating there. It may have 
been as long as half an hour. 

That was seven or eight, or maybe nine, years 
ago. Today he is the most extensively syndi 
cated and by the same token the most exten 
sively read writer on sporting topics in the United 
States, and is paid accordingly. Success has not 
damaged him. His hat size is still seven and 
an eighth and his favorite flower remains the 
violet. He is the same modest, manly, sunny- 
natured chap that he must have been when he 



INTRODUCTION 

was a tow-headed kid Down South, or when he 
was a freshman in college at Nashville, or when 
he broke into the game as a cub reporter. Every 
time Grant Rice meets a man, Grant Rice s cir 
cle of friends and well-wishers has been increased 
by one. So far as I know he has one serious 
vice : he would rather play golf in the fall of the 
year than go bird-shooting with me. The man 
telpiece and other furniture in his flat are all 
junked up with those silver contraptions called 
trophies which he has won on the links. Any 
time Mrs. Rice feels that the whatnot in the 
corner requires further ornamentation, Grant 
takes his clubs in his hand and goes over to 
Englewood or down to Pinehurst, or somewhere, 
and presently comes home with another loving 
cup bearing the imprint of the popular Mr. 
Sterling. 

Some of these days they are going to nomi 
nate a successor to the late James Whitcomb 
Riley as our most typical writer of homely, gen 
tle American verse. I have my candidate 
already picked out. His name is Grantland Rice. 

IRVIN S. COBB. 



CONTENTS 
SONGS OF SOMEWHERE BACK 

PAGE 

Some Day 3 

Down in Sunny Tennessee 4 

A Little Boy and His Dream 10 

Voices of the Night 12 

The Triumvirate. 13 

In Life s April 15 

Uncle Remus 17 

The Vanished Country 19 

Ghosts of the Alamo 21 

At the Morning Gate 23 

Through the Smoke Wreath 25 

Somewhere Back 27 

The Little Land of Morning 29 

Above the Darkness 31 

The Lost Goddess 32 

Wind of the Night . 34 

When Summer Days Were Long 36 

x The League of Once-Upon-a-Time 38 

When Christmas Calls 39 



xii CONTENTS 

PAGE 

The Sort of a Girl We Used to Know 40 

A Song That s Out of Date 42 

Poor Little Devil 43 

The Story of the Rose 45 

Over the Ways 47 

In Far-off Lands 49 

Lost Lanes 51 

The Alien 53 

When Spring Comes Back 54 

Septembers Ago 57 

From the Long Road 58 

SONGS OF COURAGE 

From the Highway 63 

The Call of the Unbeaten 64 

Brave Life 65 

Ballade of the Gamefish 68 

The Trainers 70 

On Being Ready 7 2 

The Gift of the Gods 73 

On to the End 74 

The Last of All 76 

On Down the Road 77 

The Hour Hand 78 

The Braver Way 80 

Whatever Odds There Are 82 

As for Service Rendered 82 

The Top o the World 83 



CONTENTS xui 

PAGE 

Ballad of the Brave 85 

The Answer 86 

When Thumbs are Down 88 

The Way of the Winning Tribe 89 

The Year Beyond 9 1 

SONGS OF THE OFF-TRAIL 

Somewhere Out 95 

Christmas on the Off -Trail 97 

With the Tramping Winds 100 

A Voice from the Dusk 102 

The Last Inn 103 

When April Calls 104 

Along a Friendly Road 105 

The Vagabond Speaks 106 

Thanksgiving From the Road 107 

"Might Have Been" 109 

With Rag and Pack no 

O, You Romany! 112 

Spring on the Off-Trail 114 

SONGS OF THE GAME 

Two Out and the Bases Full 117 

Weak Willed 118 

From the Game 119 

At Sport s Frontier 120 

The Universal Boast. ... . 122 



xiv CONTENTS 

PAGE 

The Call of the Age 123 

To John Henry Wagner 125 

Ballade of Bruisers 131 

The Bush to the Big League 132 

The Land of Par 135 

There Up and Back * 136 

The Cause Eternal 141 

"Even This Shall Pass Away" 143 

The Record 145 

Scotia s Rebuttal 146 

Pumpelly of Yale 149 

An Old Refrain . . 1 50 

Ballade of Heroes 152 

Rube Marquard s Soliloquy 1 54 

The Race 155 

Somewhere in the Game 1 56 

Lines to Stuffy Mclnnis 157 

The Game and the Piper 159 

As It Sometimes Happens 161 

SONGS ABOVE THE DRUMFIRE 

Beyond the Charge 165 

What Of It? 166 

Alan Seeger 169 

Over There \ 171 

Golf in Europe 173 

"Somewhere in Somewhere" 175 

Songs the Soldiers Sing 1 76 



CONTENTS xv 

PAGE 

Our Uncle Samuel 178 

France 1 79 

Peace for the Kaiser 182 

Three Years Ago 184 

A Message from a Front Trench 185 

The Princess Pats 187 

Into the Battle 188 

In No Man s Land 190 

The Fallen 191 

The Canadian 192 

On Thanksgiving Day 193 

Beyond the Barrier 194 

The Story of the Drums 195 

Over the Border 19? 

Two Songs of the Field 199 

"Home from the Front" 201 



SONGS OF SOMEWHERE BACK 



SOME DAY 

I m going home some day 

If I can only find the pathway back ; 
For I have come too far, too far astray, 

A wanderer on a strange and alien track. 
I saw the world ahead and only meant 

To go a little way beyond and then 
To seek the old-time highway of content, 

And live back home among my clan again. 

I m going home some day 

But every track I face is strange and new ; 
God grant I have not wholly lost the way 

But that, in seeking all the long years through, 
The mist shall lift, and I shall find once more 

The path that leads me to the dreams of 
youth 



4 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

The lanes of light the life I knew before 
I left the old-time ways of faith and truth. 

I m going home some day- 

So moves the dream of all the roving world; 
The seekers of far lands who ve lost their way, 

God s countless aliens by the current whirled 
From out the harbor, and by tempest tossed 

To unknown lands where they must ever roam ; 
And this is all that makes life worth the cost 

This endless dream "Some day I m going 
home." 

DOWN IN SUNNY TENNESSEE 

Is the sunshine any brighter 
From the years that used to be? 

Is the moondrift any softer 
Down in Sunny Tennessee ? 

Are the song birds any sweeter, 
As they warble to their mates ? 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Are the mountains any higher 

Than they are in other states ? 
For you understand the feeling, 

If you ve ever had to roam, 
The sky is always bluer, 
And the old-time friends seem truer, 

When a fellow thinks of home. 

When the way I take is weary 

Through the shadow of the years, 
When the day has seen my sorrow 

And the dark has known my fears, 
Then I turn to you and whisper : 

"O, the night has grown so deep 
Where I thought Fame s light was flaring, 

Only ghosts and shadows creep; 
Can t you see I m lonesome for you 

Where the way of Fate is stark ? 
Won t you call me home, O Mother, 

Call your boy in from the dark?" 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

I can see old lanes that wander 
Where the maples bend and sway ; 

I can see your orchards waiting 
Where the children used to play ; 

And they re full of dreams that beckon 
To a long forgotten day ; 

And when the day is over 

In the summer s purple glow, 

Your fields are faint with starlight 
From the dusks of long ago, 
That a fellow used to know. 

I can see you now before me, 

From your mountains to your plains ; 
Through the glory of your sundrifts 

And the gray mists of your rains ; 
Where your moonlight s spilling silver 

And your sunshine s dripping gold, 
And your twilight winds are singing 

Of the fine, brave days of old. 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Of the days when Jackson s courage 

Gave the nation back its faith 
When the Alamo called Crockett 

For his rifle and his wraith 
When Forrest led his stalwarts 

Out the highway of the brave, 
And Morgan s mighty raiders 

Rode to glory or the grave. 

Then the vision changes color, 

Where the softer dreams remain 
Of lips as red as roses 

That are rinsed in April s rain; 
Of eyes as blue as May deeps 

Where the violets are born, 
And voices that are softer 

Than the summer winds at dawn, 
Then the summer winds that whisper 

From the Long and Long Ago. 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

When a fellow starts to dreaming 
Of a Girl he used to know. 

Where shadows drift and gather 

There s a mist before my eyes, 
From fields of waving blue-grass 

And from still remembered skies; 
W T here vanished winds come singing, 

Through the fragrance of your loam, 
The story of your glory 

And the old, old song of home. 

The old, old song that echoes 

On the far winds of the night 
That sings above the war drums 

And the tumult of the fight; 
That sweeps across the cities 

Where the flags of triumph fly, 
And whispers in the twilight 

Where the wounded wait to die; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

The song of all the millions 

Who have held one dream at bay 

Of a road beyond Tomorrow 

That will lead back home some day. 

And when the road came calling 

To take my "rag and pack," 
To face the way, far leading, 

That might not bring me back, 
I still held to the vision 

Of dim, old-fashioned lanes, 
Through April s silver mornings, 

And through gray October rains; 
And grander than all triumphs 

That ever come to men 
A clan that waits with welcome 

When I come home again. 



A LITTLE BOY AND A DREAM 

The Little Boy smiled in his sleep that night 
As he wandered to Twilight Town ; 
And his face lit up with a heavenly light 
Through the shadows that drifted down ; 
But he woke next morning with tear-stained eye 
In the light of the gray dawn s gleam ; 
And out from the stillness we heard him cry: 
"I ve lost my dream my dream !" 

And he told us then, in his childish way, 

Of the wonderful dream he d known; 

He had wandered away from the land of play 

To the distant Land of the Grown ; 

He had won his share of the fame and fight, 

In the struggle and toil of men ; 

And he sobbed and sighed in the breaking light : 

"I want my dream again." 
10 



SONGS OF THE STALWART II 

As the years passed by the Little Boy grew 
Till he came to the Land of the Grown ; 
And the dream of his early youth came true, 
The dream that he thought had flown ; 
Yet once again he smiled in his sleep, 
Smiled on to the gray dawn s gleam, 
When those near by might have heard him weep, 
"I want my dream my dream !" 

For he dreamed of the Yesterdays of Youth, 
And the smile on a mother s face ; 
A hearth of old-time faith and truth 
In the light of an old home place ; 
He had won his share of the fame and fight 
In the struggle and toil of men 
Yet he sobbed and sighed in the breaking light: 
"I want my dream again." 



VOICES OF THE NIGHT 

Last night you called from some forgotten year ; 
You spoke to me across the wall of night ; 
Or was it but the wind that echoed near 
And whispered to me as it wheeled in flight? 
Wind of the night from pathways we had known 
Before the journey called me forth alone? 
I know not only that last night, as then, 
I heard your voice again. 

Last night you sang to me the old song crept 

From out the years and life s forgotten ways ; 

Or was it that the tavern music swept 

My heart and soul on back to other days? 

That carried me from out the night of fears 

Into the light of life s all golden years? 

I know not only that last night as then 

I heard you sing again. 

12 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 13 

Last night you came to me and brought me rest 
From care and strife as in the days of yore ; 
Or was it but the ashes of dead roses pressed 
Between the leaves I turned to see once more? 
Ashes of roses from the days of gleam 
When life was more than ashes of a dream? 
I know not only that last night as then 
You came to me again. 



THE TRIUMVIRATE 

When a touch of frost 

Creeps in the air 

And the northwind s 

Roaring bugles blare; 

When the long, gray evenings 

Gather down 

From the hills that shadow 

The walled-in town ; 



14 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

When the dripping eaves 
In a bleak refrain 
Chant the wail 
Of a winter s rain, 
Oh, where is the poet 
Left to sing 
A song of dream 
In the land of Spring? 
A song of dream 
That may compare 
To a pipe a book 
And an easy chair? 

When the wild blasts howl 
And the shadows flit 
Over the wall 
Where the fire is lit ; 
When the snow drifts deep 
And the driving rain 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 15 

Sings its song 
At the window pane ; 
When the dim world lies 
In the pit of night, 
As the gray ghosts shriek 
In the mad gale s flight, 
Oh, where is the poet 
Left to praise 
The gleam and dream, 
Of the summer ways? 
The gleam and dream 
That may compare 
To a pipe a book 
And an easy chair? 

IN LIFE S APRIL 

Here let the sunshine linger 

The softest south wind stay; 
No shadow gather over 

Life s Little Land of Play; 



16 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

No sin nor sorrow reach them 

No storm that rushes by 
Leave for the dreamers guarded there 
The echo of a sigh. 

Give them the breath of morning 

When spring s first zephyr blows 
To paint upon each pallid cheek 

The crimson of the rose ; 
Wee lips as pink as starlight, 

Bright eyes that see no pain, 
As tender as the violets, 

Blue wet in April s rain. 

Give them to know life s music 
Beyond the driving years ; 

Too young to know the meaning 
Of heartaches and of tears; 

And when the twilight gathers 
By valley, hill and stream, 



SONGS OF THE STALWART I? 

Give them across the darkness 
God s sweetest dream to dream. 

UNCLE REMUS 
(Upon the death of Joel Chandler Harris.) 

There s a shadow on the cotton patch, the blue 
has left the sky ; 

The mourning meadows echo with the south- 
wind s saddened sigh; 

And the gold of all the sunshine in Dixie s 
turned to gray, 

But the roses and the violets shall hide his face 
away. 

The Little Boy is lonesome and his eyes are 

rilled with tears ; 
Beyond the mists he only sees the shadows of 

the years ; 
The light now lies behind him with his best 

friend gone away ; 



18 SONGS O F T H E ST A LW ART 

But the softest winds in Dixie at his heart will 
kneel to pray. 

The people of the woodlands the fur and feath 
ered clan 

The bear the fox the rabbit will miss him 
more than man ; 

But the rose that sways above him in his blos 
som-tented tomb 

Shall turn its crimson lips of love to kiss away 
the gloom. 

The shadow s on the cotton patch ; the light has 

left the sky ; 
A world will bow in sorrow at his message of 

good-bye ; 
And the gold of all the sunshine in Dixie s 

turned to gray; 
But the sweetest flowers of the South will hide 

his face away. 



THE VANISHED COUNTRY 

Back in the Vanished Country 

There s a cabin in a lane, 
Across the yellow sunshine 

And the silver of the rain; 
A cabin, summer-shaded, 

Where the maples whispered low 
Dream stones of the world winds 

That a fellow used to know; 
And it s queer that, turning gray, 

Still a fellow looks away 
To a land he knows has vanished 

Down the Path of Yesterday. 

Back in the Vanished Country 
There s an old-time swinging gate 

Through the early dusk of summer 
Where a girl had come to wait ; 
19 



20 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

And her hair was like the sundrift 

From the heart of summer skies, 
While the blue of God s wide heaven 

Crowned the splendor of her eyes ; 
And it s queer that, turning gray, 

Still a fellow looks away 
To a girl he knows has vanished 

Down the Path of Yesterday. 

Back in the Vanished Country 

There s a dream that used to be 
Of Fame within the city 

And a name beyond the sea; 
A dream of laurel wreathings 

That came singing through the light, 
The story of the glory 

Of the victor in the fight ; 
And it s queer that, worn and gray, 

Still a fellow looks away 



SONGS OF THE STALWART *I 

To a dream he knows has vanished 
Down the Path of Yesterday. 

GHOSTS OF THE ALAMO 

There s the tramp of a ghost on the low wind 
tonight, 

An echo that drifts like a dream on its way; 

There s the blur of a specter that leaves for the 
fight, 

Grave-risen at last from a long vanished day ; 

There s the shout and the call of grim soul unto 
soul, 

As they rise one by one, out of death s shad 
owed glen 

To follow the bugle the drum s muffled roll 

Where Ghosts of the Alamo gather again. 

I hear Crockett s voice as he leaps from the 

dust 
And waits at the call for an answering hail ; 



22 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

And Bowie caresses a blade red with rust 
As deep in the shadows he turns to the trail ; 
Still lost in the darkness that covers their sleep 
Their bodies may rest in a sand-mounded den, 
But their spirits have come from the red starry 

steep 
Where Ghosts of the Alamo gather again. 

You think they ve forgotten because they have 
slept 

The day Santa Anna charged in with his slaves, 

Where five thousand men on a bare hundred 
swept 

And stormed the last rampart that stood for 
their graves ? 

You think they ve forgotten but faint, from 
afar, 

Brave Travis is calling the roll of his men, 

And a voice answers, "Here !" through the shad 
ows that bar 

Where Ghosts of the Alamo gather again. 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 23 

There s a flash on a blade and you thought it 

a star? 
There s a light on the plain and you thought it 

the moon ? 
You thought the wind echoed that anthem of 

war? 

Not knowing the lilt of an old border tune ; 
Gray shade after shade, stirred again unto 

breath, 
Gray phantom by phantom they charge down 

the glen, 
Where souls hold a hate that is greater than 

death 
\Yhere Ghosts of the Alamo gather again. 

AT THE MORNING GATE 

How hard the road may be for me, 

How rough the way that I must keep, 

How weary all the toil may be 

Means nothing, dear, though shadows creep, 



24 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

If you, O Little Dreamer there, 
Now drifting under summer skies, 
With yellow sunshine in your hair 
And starlight in your shining eyes, 
Shall only know the lane of light 
Where God has kissed each shadow white. 

How far the song may drift me, 
Who only hear the weary cry 
Of Sorrow s ceaseless threnody 
Beneath a dim and starless sky 
Shall matter not, if I but know, 
O Little Dreamer, that your feet 
Shall follow where the southwinds blow 
Love s blossoms that shall make life sweet- 
Sweet through the years that wait for you 
With every little dream come true. 



THROUGH THE SMOKE WREATH 

You d think the years that stand between 

The long gray years in endless passing 
Would leave but darkness on the scene 

Of memory in backward passing; 
That fleeting Time would take its rip 

Across the rope of friendship s tether 
Fair nights of happy comradeship 

Brave days of willing toil together. 

And yet across the board tonight 

I see them once more holding session ; 
Ralph Smith is banking at his right 

Lane sits in heavy-faked depression ; 
And Burke is kidding drawing blind 

Two cards to flush and never failing 
And where Camp holds three of a kind 

I hear once more the echoes wailing. 
25 



26 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Where Saul and Marquis hold the board 

In jibe and jest, gay wit, romances; 
Where Goodwin cops the blue-stacked hoard 

And pikes it back in foolish chances ; 
Where Johnson calls and Harris "shows" 

Across the old-time track again, 
Beyond the night some lost wind blows 

Their vanished voices back again. 

Tobacco smoke that gathers thick 

A line of steins around the table ; 
Ah, but the dawn has come too quick 

With light across the midnight s sable ; 
Across Time s sweep, that dims and blurs, 

They meet no more with Fate to reckon; 
No more the pleading "Kitty" purrs, 

Save in a dream the pipe can beckon. 

You d think the years would well wipe out 
Such vanished scenes from life s lost places; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 2? 

That Time would banish in its rout 
The voices dim the missing faces; 

The Game is broken up and yet 

There comes a splicing of the tether 

When one through smoke-wreaths won t forget 
To sometimes call the bunch together. 

SOMEWHERE BACK 

I knew a kid one day 

Who looked beyond wide orchard lanes of 

white 
To where a fellow held the laureled way 

Of fame and name and fortune in the fight ; 
A kid who heard Life calling, and who turned 

To catch the echo of far-marching feet 
Where crimson fires of glory flashed and burned 

Along the borders of the swarming street. 

I know a fellow now 
W T ho looks across gray years with weary eyes 



28 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Beyond the laurel and the olive bough 

To old, old dreams beneath remembered 
skies, 

To fields of golden harvest and the glow 

Of God s lost sunshine waning to the gleam 

Of starlit dusk back home, so long ago 
It only seems the phantom of a dream. 

I know a fellow who 

Would give Life s motley fame again to be 
In orchard drifts where lost winds wander 
through 

And whisper sighing from the bending tree ; 
Who dreams at each gray dusk within his den 

Of old-time honor and old-fashioned truth, 
And cries to God to lead him back again 

And leave him with the clean, brave faith of 
youth. 



THE LITTLE LAND OF MORNING 

O Little Land of Morning where they have a 

dream to cling to, 
There s many a dim eye turning through the 

mist and rain of tears ; 
Where they have a hope beyond them and a 

brave youth faith to swing to 
And a golden vision beckons out the highway 

of the years ; 

Where the fable of the reindeer was a truth be 
yond denying 
Ere the Gift God of the Northland had been 

turned into a wraith 
O Little Land of Morning in what borders are 

you lying 
Where a weary heart may find you out the 

path of vanished faith? 
29 



30 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

O Little Land of Morning, are your highways 

barred forever 
To the many who have wandered through the 

arches of your gates? 
May the dreamers who have known you find 

your phantom portals never 
Or, in finding, no more enter by the gray, 

grim-guarding fates? 

Must the dream forever linger in a dim and dis 
tant yearning 
That can never gather closer to the dream we 

used to know? 

O Little Land of Morning, can we find no back 
ward turning 

Through the shadows and the darkness to the 
dream of long ago? 



ABOVE THE DARKNESS 

Deep in the dusk, Dear, the roses are sleeping; 
Down from the hills, Dear, the low wind conies 

creeping, 

Creeping and whispering 
"Dreamer good-night 
Dream of the morning 
And God s world of light 
Dream O Little One dreams that are true, 
Dreams of the starlight, the dawn and the dew, 
Safe in your nest, Dear, 
Sleep, Dear, and rest, Dear, 
God in His heaven keeps watch over you." 

Over the world, Dear, the twilight is falling, 
Low through the dusk, Pear, the south wind 

comes calling 
Calling and whispering 



32 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

"God give you rest 

God in His goodness 

Keep guard by your nest ; 

Dream O Little One dream of the light, 

Dream of the morning that He shall kiss white 

For while you sleep, Dear, 

His care shall creep, Dear, 

From the far skies to your cradle tonight." 



THE LOST GODDESS 

When the world is sweet with the breath of rose 

And the white-thorn hedge is a wall of gleam ; 
When an incense comes as the south wind blows 

And the days move by in the drift of dream; 
\Vhen life is but half awake at best 

And ghosts of the twilight hover near, 
And old, old longing stirs the breast 

And we turn to Her and the Yesteryear. 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 33 

When tassel plumes of the cornland bend 

To drifting winds of a dreamy day ; 
When drowsy birds in the maples send 

Their songs of peace to the world away; 
When lanes are light with the morning s glow 

And night, with the silver moon, comes clear, 
There s a tug at the heart from the Long Ago 

And we turn to Her and the Yesteryear. 

A phantom from out of the old, lost ways, 

From city and meadow, from street or stream ; 
A wraith from the vanished yesterdays 

Where the heart goes back to a summer s 

dream ; 
We only know that the dream has passed, 

That the voice is lost where the night is near, 
But as long as the summer roses last 

We turn to Her and the Yesteryear. 



WIND OF THE NIGHT 

Wind of the night of winter blown from a 

starless track, 
Whispering there in the Darkness, where the 

shadows whisper back, 
Why must you haunt my casement, under the 

rain-wet eaves, 
With voices of ghosts forgotten in the rustle of 

withered leaves? 

Wind of the night of winter calling to me as 

you creep, 
W T hispering there in the shadows where the dark 

of the night is deep; 
Crying of days forgotten sighing for dreams 

long sped, 
Why must you blow gray ghosts again from 

graves of the vanished dead? 
34 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 35 

And there is a Voice in the shadows a Voice 

from a vanished day 
A song from the heart of Springtime blown from 

the fields of May; 
Clear as a woodland ripple from the roll of a 

silver stream, 
Till the Night is sweet with the music and the 

Dark with an old, old dream. 

Wind of the night of winter here I have come 

for rest 
For peace in the gloom of my lonesome room as 

a worn bird seeks its nest ; 
Why must you haunt my casement, under the 

rain-wet eaves 
With voices of ghosts forgotten in the rustle of 

withered leaves? 



WHEN SUMMER DAYS WERE LONG 

"He d nothing but his violin I d nothing but my 

song 

Yet we zvere wed when skies were blue and 
summer days were long" 

In Life s Lost Gardens through the years 

The Dreamer still seeks vanished ways 
That lead through heartache and through tears 

Into the drift of Yesterdays; 
To Yesterdays when dreams came true 

And two, apart from all the throng, 
Meet once again when skies are blue 

And summer days are long. 

Once more he walks the old-time lanes, 
And in the dream that follows there 

Puts "blood of roses in her veins," 
"Spins yellow sunshine for her hair"; 
36 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 37 

While growing shadows blur the view 
He hears once more an old-time song 

He only knows that skies are blue 
And summer days are long. 



Once more he drifts out from the 

And leaves his place amid the game; 
Beyond the purple haze of night 

He turns his burdened back on fame; 
In vain the future sings its due 

Of glory with the brave and strong; 
He only cares that skies are blue 

And summer days are long. 

In Life s dim Garden, one by one, 
We seek again some vanished day; 

That calls us, when our Youth is done, 
Across the Fields of Far Away; 

Through gray lost years when dreams came true 
And each one followed some old song; 



3$ SONGS OF THE STALWART 

When Life but knew that skies were blue 
And summer days were long. 

THE LEAGUE OF ONCE-UPON-A-TIME 

Once upon a time I knew 
A freckled, bare-ioot fellow who 
Knew life but as a summer s dream! 
A song that came from bird or stream 
Who knew the world but as a place 

The yellow sunshine bathed in light, 
Or where the rosebud showed its face 

Amid the dew of morning bright ; 
A place where morning held its prime 
But that was "once upon a time." 

And once upon a time I knew 
The same far little fellow, who 
Looked out upon the world with faith 
And endless hope nor saw the wraith 



SONGS OFTHE STALWART 39 

That loomed above him through the years 
The wraith of dreams that wandered down 

The shadowed way of sighs and tears 
And vanished in the far-off town ; 

He saw the dream but in its prime 

But that was "once upon a time." 

WHEN CHRISTMAS CALLS 

Christmas has called and I want to go home; 
Christmas has whispered and out through the 

night 
There s something which beckons to us who must 

roam 

Far from the berries of scarlet and white ; 
There s something which beckons and out on 

the road 

We follow the way of a dream that is old, 
And weary the travel and heavy the load 

Of those who may never turn back to the fold. 



4<> SONGS OF THE STALWART 

I want to go back to the day where at dawn 

A tow-headed youngster rushed forth with a 

whoop 
To the clarion call of the Little Tin Horn 

And the roll of the drum as it summoned its 

troop 
Of the tin soldiered legion with muskets agleam, 

Serried and straight in an unbroken row 
I want to go back where a fellow can dream 

Of Christmas like that in the Longtime Ago. 

THE SORT OF A GIRL WE USED 
TO KNOW 

(To a friend who desires to know what type of 
book we might like for Christmas.) 

This is a book that I want from you 
Where red Romance comes slashing by; 

Of a pirate ship with a cut-throat crew 
Led on by the Mate with an Evil Eye; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 4 1 

Or, an old-fashioned girl from the long ago 
Who isn t a "chicken" nor yet a "queen," 

But the sort of a girl we used to know 
Or have you forgotten the sort I mean? 

I want Her a thousand leagues away 

From a cabaret or a Broadway show, 
Put back again in the fields of May, 

The sort of a girl we used to know 
An old-fashioned sort that we can t forget 

When a lost dream moves through the night 

of fears, 
Of apple blossoms and mignonette 

Blown once more from the rose-sweet years. 

I want a book for a winter night 

When the long, gray evenings gather down, 
Where I can read of a slashing fight 

Or dream again of a country town, 



42 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Where the old-time maples sway and croon 
Lost lullabies from the long ago; 

Where I can dream of a vanished moon 
And the sort of a girl we used to know. 

A SONG THAT S OUT OF DATE 

Let s sing an old-time song again, 

Of good, old-fashioned days; 
A song that leads us back again 

To Life s long vanished ways ; 
Back where a cabin crowns the lane 

And in the fading light 
Of where a waiting mother calls 

Her kid in from the night. 

Let s sing an old-time song again 

Amid these ribald tunes; 
Of all the rose-sweet dreams that swept 

Across the moon-red Junes; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 43 

Of one who held an ancient sway 

Beneath remembered skies, 
With apple blossoms in Her drift, 

And Morning in Her eyes. 

Let s sing an old-time melody 

Of laughter or of tears; 
A song of simple sentiment 

From out the vanished years ; 
A song that doesn t reek with slime 

Nor pitch its tone to laud 
The dance hall s drunken revelry 

The red haunts of the bawd. 

POOR LITTLE DEVIL 

Poor little devil, ragged in the street, 
On an endless journey out the way of weary feet ; 
Lonesome in the darkness, toiling in the light, 
One among the workers in the struggle and the 
fight; 



44 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Little time to dream in little less for play, 
Never knows the meaning of a boyland holiday; 
Poor little devil, only wish that I 
Knew a way to help him, as he wanders by. 

Poor little devil/ fighting it alone, 
Funny that he s whistling such a cheery tone ; 
Little time to dream in little time to play, 
Funny he keeps singing so blithely on the way ; 
Queer he doesn t understand what a ragged trick 
Life has turned upon him that he doesn t ever 

kick; 

Funny he is happier than so many seem 
With a lot of time to play and loaf about and 

dream ; 

Poor little fellow only wish that I 
Knew a way to help him, as he whistles by. 



THE STORY OF THE ROSE 

She cut me loose from my swaying stem 

In the sweep of the silver dew ; 
She took me away from my garden home 

And the old-time friends I knew; 
Away from the fold of my crimson clan 

Through a hallway, dark and cool, 
Where she buried my thirsty, drooping lips 

In the depths of a crystal pool 

She brought me forth in the twilight s shade 

With a smile, as her red lips pressed 
Against my own, and her eyes were bright 

As my head leaned to her breast ; 
And together we wandered forth again 

Where the moon danced through the trees, 
And the breath of my clan came back to me 

On the drift of the twilight breeze. 
45 



46 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Our pathway led to the garden gate, 
When out through the moonlight clear 

Another came up the winding road 
With an old-time song of cheer; 

And side by side on the rustic bench 
They sat where the stars shone dim, 

And when he left for the road again 

He took me away with him. 

* * * * 

He opened the dusty book one night 

Where I had lain through the years; 
And his eyes, half closed in the lonesome room, 

Looked down through the mist of tears; 
And he held me there till the gray dawn swept 

The shadow away with its gleams 
"Ashes of roses " I heard him say 

"Ashes of roses and dreams." 



OVER THE WAYS 

Where the birds and the blossoms 

Used to wait, 
There with Her 

At the Morning Gate; 
In the old, old days 

Of the glow and gleam, 
Of love and light 

And a summer s dream 
I wonder if ever 

She cares to know 
That over the years 

Which have vanished so, 
Some one still turns 

From a lonesome night, 
To a rose-red dream 

In a land of light? 
47 



4 8 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

That one still looks 

To the tryst of old, 
By the rose-rimmed gate 

And the path of gold? 

I wonder if ever 

Across the years, 
As the long day wanes 

And the gray dusk nears 
As in a glint 

From a purple sea, 
The star dust drifts 

Through the maple tree 
I wonder if ever 

She thinks again, 
Of a dream that was 

Or might have been? 
When the world was sweet 

At the dream day s close 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 49 

With the drift of bloom 

And the breath of rose? 
Do dead dreams rise 

At the dusk for Her 
And call again 

Of the days that were? 

IN FAR OFF LANDS 
In Far Off Lands today where lost paths run 

A Little Boy looks up into God s sky, 
Through apple blossoms swaying in the sun 

That drift as summer south winds whisper by; 
And as he looks upon his face there comes 

The light that only fame s white dream can 

yield, 
To him who hears far off the roll of drums, 

The silver bugle calling to the field. 

I watch him leave the happy fields he knew, 
The waving grasses and the wide, kind sky, 



5 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

The harvest song that winds and echoes through 
Lost summer days of sunshine drifting by; 

The paths of faith and honesty and truth, 
To follow through the mire of doubt and greed 

And tangled ways that lead so far from youth, 
That sent him forth to where his dream might 
lead. 

From Far OfT Lands that hold their place apart 

I see him take the gray trail of the years 
Struggling and stumbling weary, sick at heart, 
Groping in blindness through the night of fears 
With outstretched hands that still reach for a 

dream 
That lures and leads and beckons yet still 

keeps 

Dim in the distance as a light that streams 
Beyond far vales where endless darkness 
creeps. 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 5 1 

Nearer and nearer, from the throng apart 

I see him fighting blindly in the fray, 
With mighty pity surging through my heart 

That one should be so far from off the way, 
So far from that dim dream youth left behind, 

With none to show the proper road to fare, 
Until, with sudden start, I wake to find 

Him whom I pitied sitting in my chair. 



LOST LANES 

It s morning in the fields again 

The light is on the lane 
That winds out from the cabin 

To the drift of waving grain; 
And God s blue sky swings over 

The meadow and the moor 
Where the sweet breath of the clover 

Ripples through the cabin door; 



52 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

But in the Lonesome City the smoke has blurred 

the sky, 
And the southwind s only whisper is the echo of 

a sigh. 

The light is on the fields today 

Above the grinding throng 
That crowds the city s borders 

Drifts the plowman s morning song; 
The silver streams are singing 

Where the gray, rock-fretted rills 
Reecho from the valleys 

To the maples on the hills ; 
But in the Lonesome City the endless shadows 

creep 

Where the day of song is over and the weary 
come to weep. 

Far, far away the fields today 
Call back across the years, 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 53 

And we who hear look backward through 

The heavy mist of tears ; 
We see the old road winding 

From the cabin in the lane 
Across the Land of Morning 

To the drift of waving grain 
But in the Lonesome City a shadow blurs the 
sky 

And the southwind s only whisper is the echo 
of a sigh. 

THE ALIEN 
They called him Alien him who knew 

No tie to bind within one home 
No place to rest beneath God s Blue, 

But one who must forever roam; 
No light to beckon in the night 

No voice to plead to call him back ; 
No long remembered lanes of light 

To wait when he might seek the track 



54 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

They call him Alien and he smiled 

As one who comes to know at last 
To know that what far place beguiled 

Was Home for him till he had passed ; 
They called him Alien him who knew 

The way of every wind that roams 
Who, wandering beneath God s Blue, 

Held in his heart a thousand homes. 



WHEN SPRING COMES BACK 

When Spring comes back old dreams come, too, 
Across the starlight and the dew, 
From vanished years and distant ways 
Through many, many yesterdays 
Dreams that in winter s sweep of snow 

We thought had passed forever by, 
But when the south wind whispers low 

And God s blue gets back in the sky 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 55 

Where bud and bloom crown vale and hill 
We find them waiting for us still. 

Sometimes they seek us in the breath 

From lilac bush along the lane; 
Sometimes they bring back Life from Death 

Through some old song some dim refrain 
Or yet a rosebud in the rain 
Will beckon to our startled gaze, 
And back again by vanished ways 
We thread lost Twilights to the dew 
Of Love s sweet Morning that we knew 
In some far blossom-scented Spring 
W r hen gypsy hearts went wandering. 

And then they come to us and wait 
At dusk beside the garden gate, 
And from the drifting shadows there 
They weave a well-remembered face 



56 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

A red rose gathered in her hair 

A smile that sweeps through time and space 
And in the whisper of the trees 
A voice drifts back upon the breeze 
As tender and as soft and sweet 
As winds that ripple through the wheat 
And stir again dead memories. 

They seek us in the morning sun 
Then follow still when day is done 
In song or blossom or the mist 

Of rain that gathers from the hills 
Gray shadows beckon to the tryst 

That waits beyond rock- fretted rills, 
Until, like vagabonds adrift, 

We wander back across the ways 
To seek again the vanished shift 

Of Life in Love s dim yesterdays. 



SEPTEMBERS AGO 

How many how many Septembers ago 
Only the God of the Dreamer may know, 
When out from the Border of Summer we came, 

Where the bud and the blossom were wilting 

away, 
And the roses that crimsoned the wall in a flame 

Were gray as the ashes of dead dreams are 

gray- 
When out from the Border of Summer we passed 
And the dream of a Dreamer was over at last. 

And summer will come with its starlight and dew, 
But never the summer of dream that we knew ; 
For still on the night when the winds whisper 

low, 
And the gray ghosts of roses come down from 

the wall, 

57 



58 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

There s an echo that comes as the faint breezes 

blow 
In a voice from the silence where gray shadows 

fall- 
How many how many Septembers ago 
Only the God of the Dreamer may know. 

FROM THE LONG ROAD 

When I come home again 
To ghosts and shadows of a vanished day; 
When I have seen old faces there, and when 
I ve journeyed down some well-remembered way, 
The pathway to the river and the lane 
Which still holds dreams one life cannot forget 
Through purple dusks and aisles of April rain 
And maybe someone who remembers yet 

I wonder if the sun will seem as gold 
As I once knew it in the days gone by? 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 59 

I wonder if the paths I knew of old 

Will wind beneath as deep and blue a sky 

As I once loved before I went away? 

Or if the songs of birds will seem as sweet 

The bluebird s call the catbird s roundelay 

As when I wandered down the old home beat ? 

When I come home again 
Back from the long, long road of toil and strife, 
Where pallid faces haunt the ways of men 
And brotherhood is war unto the knife ; 
Back to the blossoms canopy of gleam, 
Where pink and white the tangled blooms lay 

curled 

Before the wastrel winds had blown the dream 
That led me to the City of the World 

I wonder, when the twilight shadows fall 
Just as the moon has climbed the ancient hill, 



60 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Out by the gate where roses guard the wall 
I wonder if I ll find YOU waiting still, 
Remembering me the weary seasons through 
With eyes aglow just as you waited then? 
I wonder if the joy will be yours, too, 
When I come home again? 



SONGS OF COURAGE 



FROM THE HIGHWAY 

For a gift the grip of your hand, 

A word that may cheer or guide ; 
A friendly hail from the band, 

Godspeed where the trails divide; 
Then on through the sun and rain, 

Then on through the wind and snow ; 
What is there else to gain ? 

What is there left to know? 

For a gift your smile through the gray 

Dim dusk of the rover s heather ; 
"Good luck" that you call my way, 

Or a friendly beaker together; 
Then on through the wind and snow, 

Then on through the sun and rain ; 
\Vhat is there else to know? 

What is there left to gain ? 
63 



THE CALL OF THE UNBEATEN 

We know how rough the road will be, 
How heavy here the load will be, 

We know about the barricades that wait along 

the track; 

But we have set our soul ahead 
Upon a certain goal ahead 

And nothing left from hell to sky shall ever 
turn us back. 

We know how brief all fame must be, 
We know how crude the game must be, 

We know how soon the cheering turns to jeer 
ing down the block ; 
But there s a deeper feeling here 
That Fate can t scatter reeling here, 

In knowing we have battled with the final 
ounce in stock. 

64 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 6 5 

We sing of no wild glory now, 
Emblazoning some story now 
Of mighty charges down the field beyond some 

guarded pit; 

But humbler tasks befalling us, 
Set duties that are calling us, 

Where nothing left from hell to sky shall ever 
make us quit. 

BRAVE LIFE 

I do not know what I shall find on out beyond 

the final fight ; 
I do not know what I shall meet beyond the last 

barrage of night ; 
Nor do I care but this I know if I but serve 

within the fold 
And play the game I ll be prepared for all the 

endless years may hold. 



66 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Life is a training camp at best for what may wait 
beyond the years; 

A training camp of toiling days and nights that 
lean to dreams and tears; 

But each may come upon the goal, and build his 
soul above all Fate 

By holding an unbroken faith and taking Cour 
age for a mate. 

Is not the fight itself enough that man must look 
to some behest? 

Wherein does Failure miss Success if all en 
gaged but do their best ? 

Where does the Victor s cry come in for wreath 
of fame or laureled brow 

If one he vanquished fought as well as weaker 
muscle would allow? 

If my opponent in the fray should prove to be a 
stronger foe 



SONGS OF THE STALWART ^7 

Not of his making but because the Destinies 

ordained it so; 
If he should win and I should lose although I 

did my utmost part, 
Is my reward the less than his if he should strive 

with equal heart? 

Brave Life, I hold, is something more than driv 
ing upward to the peak; 

Than smashing madly through the strong, and 
crashing onward through the weak; 

I hold the man who makes his fight against the 
raw game s crushing odds 

Is braver than his brothers are who hold the 
favor of the gods. 

On by the sky line, faint and vague, in that Far 

Country all must know, 
No laurel crown of fame may wait beyond the 

sunset s fading glow; 



6* SONGS OF THE STALWART 

But life has given me the chance to train and 

serve within the fold, 
To meet the test and be prepared for all the 

endless years may hold. 

BALLADE OF THE GAMEFISH 

"Only the gamefish swims upstream." 

COLONEL JOHN TROTWOOD MOORE. 

Where the puddle is shallow, the weakfish stay 

To drift along with the current s flow; 
To take the tide as it moves each day 

With the idle ripples that come and go; 
With a shrinking fear of the gales that blow 

By distant coasts where the Great Ports gleam ; 
Where the far heights call through the silver 
glow, 

"Only the gamefish swims upstream." 

Where the shore is waiting, the minnows play, 
Borne by the current s undertow ; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 69 

Drifting, fluttering on their way, 

Bound by a fate that has willed it so ; 

In the tree-flung shadows they never know 
How far they have come from the old, brave 
dream ; 

Where the wild gales call from the peaks of snow, 
"Only the gamefish swims upstream/ 

Where the tide rolls down in a flash of spray 
And strikes with the might of a bitter foe, 
The shrimp and the sponge are held at bay 
W r here the dusk winds call and the sun sinks 

low; 
They call it Fate in their endless woe 

As they shrink in fear when the wild hawks 

scream 
From the crags and crests where the great thorns 

grow, 
"Only the gamefish swims upstream." 



7 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Held with the current the Fates bestow, 
The driftwood moves to a sluggish theme, 

Nor heeds the call which the Far Isles throw, 
"Only the gamefish swims upstream." 

THE TRAINERS 

My name is Trouble I m a busy bloke 

I am the test of Courage and of Class 
I bind the coward to a bitter yoke, 

I drive the craven from the crowning pass ; 
Weaklings I crush before they come to fame, 

But as the red star guides across the night, 
I train the stalwart for a better game; 

I drive the brave into a harder fight. 

My name is Hard Luck wrecker of rare 
dreams 

I follow all who seek the open fray ; 
I am the shadow where the far light gleams 

For those who seek to know the open way; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 7* 

Quitters I break before they reach the crest, 
But where the red field echoes with the drums, 

I build the fighter for the final test 

And mold the brave for any drive that comes. 

My name is Sorrow I shall come to all 
To block the surfeit of an endless joy; 

Along the Sable Road I pay my call 

Before the sweetness of success can cloy; 

And weaker souls shall weep amid the throng 
And fall before me, broken and dismayed ; 

But braver hearts shall know that I belong 
And take me in, serene and unafraid. 

My name s Defeat but through the bitter fight, 
To those who know, I m something more than 
friend ; 

For I can build beyond the wrath of might 
And drive away all yellow from the blend; 



72 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

For those who quit, I am the final blow, 

But for the brave who seek their chance to 
learn, 

I show the way, at last, beyond the foe, 

To where the scarlet flames of triumph burn. 

ON BEING READY 
The man who is there with the wallop and punch, 

The one who is trained to the minute, 
May well be around when the trouble begins, 

But you seldom will find he is in it; 
For they let him alone when they know he is there 

For any set part in the ramble, 
To pick out the one who is shrinking and soft 

And not quite attuned to the scramble. 

The one who is fixed for whatever they start 

Is rarely expected to prove it; 
They pass him along for the next shot in sight 

Where they take a full wind-up and groove it ; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 73 

For who wants to pick on a bulldog or such 
Where a quivering poodle is handy, 

When he knows he can win with a kick or a brick 
With no further trouble to bandy? 

THE GIFT OF THE GODS 

If I may call you friend, I wish you this 

No gentle destiny throughout the years; 
No soft content, or ease, or unearned bliss 

Bereft of heartache where no sorrow nears, 
But rather rugged trouble for a mate 

To mold your soul against the coming blight, 
To train you for the ruthless whip of fate 

And build your heart up for the bitter fight. 

If I may call you friend, I wish you more 
A rare philosophy no man may fake, 

To put the game itself beyond the score 
And take the tide of life as it may break; 



74 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

To know the struggle that a man should know 
Before he comes through with the winning hit, 

And, though you slip before the charging foe, 
To love the game too well to ever quit. 

If I may call you friend, I wish this, too, 

As you grope blindly out the narrow beat, 
That you may have one old-time dream come true, 

Which is one more than most men ever meet; 
That you will hold this as a worthy prize 

For all the traps with which the course was 

lined, 
Not scorning it with too ambitious eyes 

That look for something you can never find. 

ON TO THE END 
The path is closed across the years 

That lead again to April s day; 
The trail is shadowed by life s tears 

Where Youth and Spring have passed away ; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 75 

And only Winter now remains 

Of phantom dream and vanished friend, 
But on across its barren plains 

I hold my course unto the end. 

Well may the April stalwart boast 

Whose road still lies by May and June; 
W r ith no dream yet turned to a ghost 

Where yet Ambition pipes her tune ; 
W here Life and Love yet have a song, 

Where cheering voices call afar, 
And where the winding way along 

No storm-blown shades of darkness bar. 

Well may he sing his battle hymn, 
Beyond the April fields of Youth; 

Well may he face the future dim 

Who yet, some day, must face the Truth; 

Well may he keep the road that leads 
Unto the goal that he has set, 



76 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Who, from the tangled codes and creeds, 
May still remember or forget. 

But I have come across the years 

To stand beneath a Winter sky; 
Behind me, through the blur of tears, 

The dim, far fields of April lie; 
The Winter snow upon my head 

Has fallen now sans dream or friend 
But through the storms or shadows sped 

I hold my course unto the end. 

THE LAST OF ALL 

"Cowards die many times before their deaths; 
The valiant never taste of death but once 

SHAKESPEARE. 

Whether it s Heaven or whether it s Hell 

Or whether it s merely Sleep ; 
Or whether it s something in between 

Where ghosts of the half -gods creep 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 77 

Since it comes but once and it comes to all 

On the one fixed, certain date 
Why drink of the dregs till the Cup arrives 

On the gray day set by Fate? 

One by one till the line has passed 

The gutter-born and the crown ; 
So what is a day or a year or two 

Since the answer s written down? 
What is a day to a million years 

When the last winds sound their call? 
So here s to the days that rest between 

And here s to the last of all ! 

ON DOWN THE ROAD 

Hold to the course, though the storms are about 
you; 

Stick to the road where the banner still flies ; 
Fate and his legions are ready to rout you 

Give em both barrels and aim for their eyes. 



78 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Life s not a rose bed, a dream or a bubble, 

A living in clover beneath cloudless skies; 
And Fate hates a fighter who s looking for 

trouble, 

So give im both barrels and shoot for the 
eyes. 

Fame never comes to the loafers and sitters, 
Life s full of knots in a shifting disguise; 

Fate only picks on the cowards and quitters, 
So give im both barrels and aim for the eyes. 

THE HOUR HAND 

"What time is it?" 

It s time to move 
From out the stolid-bordered frame; 

It s time to rustle from the groove 
And beat it back into the game ; 

It s time to edge in with a start 
That s just a trifle more than bluff, 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 79 

And, whatsoever be the part, 
To give the game your keenest stuff. 

"What time is it?" 

It s time to fight; 
To rally up the hosts of cheer, 

And, in the face of bitter night, 
To wipe away the useless tear. 

It s time to meet the foe called Fate 
With valiant heart and head held high, 

And whatsoever score may wait, 
It s time to can the alibi. 

"What time is it?" 

It s time to be 
Out there among the battling throng; 

It s time to set your honor free 
From any taint of shame or wrong ; 

It s time to be upon the square, 
And, when you ve cut in with your best, 



80 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

You ll find, out in the far Somewhere, 
It s time enough to take your rest. 

THE BRAVER WAY 

Behind us rest the drifting years 

Of soft content and fame; 
For we now take the way of those 

Who play the braver game; 
Who drive head-on against red Fate, 

Along the storm-swept shore ; 
Who drive, red-hearted, down the field, 

Regardless of the score. 

Behind us wait old-fashioned ways, 

The lilac time of life, 
When all we knew were purple drifts 

Beyond the sweep of strife; 
But we have found the answer now 

Among the waiting brave, 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 8l 

Who only know the final goals 
Of glory or the grave. 

And Love shall meet us with a rose, 

And necklacing our dreams, 
Soft arms shall seek to hold us back 

Along the singing streams; 
And Failure s legions sweep our lines 

From front and flank and rear 
Through sunless days of bitterness 

Through starless nights of fear. 

And we shall mark our trail beyond 

The dreams that we have lost, 
Where we shall hold the open road 

Nor count the bitter cost ; 
Content to know when each stark soul 

Has passed the outpost stars, 
The Scorer counts no medals there 

He only counts the scars. 



WHATEVER ODDS THERE ARE 

Give me but room to fight my way, 
I ask no other gift from Fate; 

Though it should crowd on me at bay, 
Where only ghosts and shadows wait. 

Shadows of old defeats blown by, 

Ghosts of old dreams drawn from life s pit ; 
Yet all I ask is room to try 

And prove Fate cannot make me quit. 

No glint of glory from the height, 
No flare of fame to call me far; 

Merely the ground to make my fight 
Against whatever odds there are. 

AS FOR SERVICE RENDERED 

To look Fate in the face, 

However grim and dark 
To take the game s worst break, 

And hold the vital spark 
82 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 8 3 

To throw soft flesh aside, 

Where Trouble rules the fray, 
Nor make one lone complaint 
Along the harder way 

Can you, who ve drifted long, 

Be ready at the call 
To swim upstream again, 

Whatever may befall? 
For service also means 

The courage to endure, 
Where those who come through fire 
Shall find the only cure. 

THE TOP O THE WORLD 
(Upon the discovery of the North Pole.) 

In the land where the Four Winds start their 
march out the trail of a lonesome beat 

Where the gray sun wheels in a six months day 
and the dawn and the twilight meet 



84 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Where the Great Nail drives to the Southern 
Pole to the storms and the stars unfurled 

The Star Spangled Banner waves at last from its 
staff at the Top o the World ! 

!A shadow falls on the Arctic snows and a rip 
pling roll of red 

Reels out to the nearest world beyond the tale of 
the ages sped; 

With only the stars of God above that gleam on 
a crest empearled 

At the End of Things, Old Glory waits at last 
from the Top o the World ! 

The Gray Winds swerve in a startled sweep from 
the path where the way lay clear 

Since the first faint breeze crept forth from Time 
on the trail of a Phantom Sphere; 

From the whip and flap of a Flag high-flown 
to the storms and the stars unfurled 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 85 

Where the Stars and Stripes in their place at last 
are set at the Top o the World ! 

At the Top o the W r orld ! From the curve that 

bends to the land of the Southern Cross 
By the white bleached bones of the brave that 

died by the land where the palm trees toss 
Over the wind and the rain and the sea borne 

through the midnight gate 
Under the Great \Vhite Throne of God the Stars 

and the Stripes await! 

BALLAD OF THE BRAVE 

We have loved but we have lost 

We have fought but we have failed; 
We have paid the bitter cost, 

Yet our hearts have never quailed ; 
We have fallen in the fray 

Through the sweep of countless suns, 
Yet we ve risen and today 

We are standing to the guns! 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

We have dreamed throughout the night 

Not of glory without end, 
But the whirlwind of the fight 

Which the coming day would send; 
We were tempted and we fell 

To the bitter depths and then 
From the very maw of hell 

We have struggled back again. 



THE ANSWER 

When the battle breaks against you and the 

crowd forgets to cheer 
When the Anvil Chorus echoes with the essence 

of a jeer ; 
When the knockers start their panning in the 

knocker s nimble way 
With a rap for all your errors and a josh upon 

your play 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 87 

There is one quick answer ready that will nail 

them on the wing; 
There is one reply forthcoming that will wipe 

away the sting ; 
There is one elastic come-back that will hold 

them, as it should 
Make good. 

No matter where you finish in the mix-up or the 

row, 
There are those among the rabble who will pan 

you anyhow ; 
But the entry who is sticking and delivering the 

stuff 
Can listen to the yapping as he giggles up his 

cuff; 
The loafer has no come-back and the quitter no 

reply 
When the Anvil Chorus echoes, as it will, 

against the sky ; 



88 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

But there s one quick answer ready that will 

wrap them in a hood - 
Make good. 



WHEN THUMBS ARE DOWN 

You ll find that most of them around 

Would rather knock than boost; 
You ll find the poisoned barbs come thick 

The higher that you roost ; 
But you can gather in this balm 

And cherish it as such 
They rarely ever pan a man 

Who doesn t matter much. 

You ll find the Anvil Chorus rules 

The bulk of any map ; 
You ll find that very few of them 

Pass up a chance to rap; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

But you can take this to your soul 

And let it dally there, 
They very rarely pan a man 

Who doesn t get somewhere. 

You ll find the game is quite inclined 

To kick in with the barb, 
No matter what the line-up is, 

No matter what the garb ; 
But you can also figure this 

And let the tiding spread, 
They rarely ever rap a guy 

Who never shows his head. 

THE WAY OF THE WINNING TRIBE 

You know, of course, how honor comes 
How glory lasts, for tribe or man ; 

And not by adding up the sums 
To cover any golden span ; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Nor yet by padding out the fat 
Of bulging waist and burly neck, 

Nor reaching soft contentment that 
Must turn all fiber to a wreck. 

For honor comes and glory lasts 

Through Service to the Vital Cause 
Through Service as it boldly casts 

Its plea beyond all other laws ; 
Through harder training for the test 

As any man, or nation, should, 
With soul enough to give its best, 

And give it for the common good. 

The goal waits not so far away 
For those who pay the price to win, 

Who throw their souls into the fray 
And stick, until the score is in ; 

For those who fear to meet the bill 
Where service, pain and life are one, 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 91 

The road is open to them still 
From Nineveh to Babylon. 

THE YEAR BEYOND 

We ve skidded along and we ve stalled and quit ; 

We have bungled the job and have called it 

Fate; 
We ve made ten errors to each clean hit 

As Old Doc Time kept cutting the plate; 
With the goal ahead we have looked behind 

Or piked along with but half a heart ; 
We ve lost the track where we charged in blind, 

But here s a chance for another start. 

We ve got our bumps where it hurt the most 
As we dug for the Grand Old Alibi ; 

Or we ve charged head down through the brok 
en host 
With never a turn for an old pal s cry; 



92 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

We ve floundered through many a boggy stew 
But Old Doc Tempus has done his part, 

He has slipped us a leaf that is clean and new, 
So here s a chance for another start. 



SONGS OF THE OFF-TRAIL 



SOMEWHERE OUT 

Somewhere out 

From the toil and grind, 
Somewhere out 

Where the road is kind; 
Somewhere out 

Where green trails wait 
For weary feet 

Through the city s gate ; 
From the snarl and tangle 

In marts of trade 
To the peace of God 

In the open shade; 
Through the purple dusk 

Through the silver dew, 
Where the rose-sweet dreams 

Of the years come true. 
95 



96 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Somewhere out 

And we who drive 
The soul and heart 

Through the city s hive, 
Where life is bound 

In the city walls 
Have little care 

Where the Red Road calls 
Or little choice 

Where the trail may wait 
So that it leads 

From the city s gate; 
To the sea-girt east 

Or the northern snows; 
To the sunlit west 

Or the southern rose. 

Somewhere out 
From the grip of greed 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 97 

Somewhere out 

As the road may lead; 
Out where the winds 

Of the world may drift 
As the burdens fall 

And the shadows lift; 
Wherever the peace 

Of God may wait 
And love shall come 

To the Twilight Gate ; 
Through the purple dusk 

Through the silver dew, 
Where the rose-sweet dreams 

Of the years come true. 

CHRISTMAS ON THE OFF-TRAIL. 

We thought we had forgotten all the years that 

lie behind us ; 

And though the vision beckons through the 
years that wait ahead, 



98 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

The white and scarlet berries of the season still 

remind us 

That dreams were merely sleeping which we 
thought forever dead. 

For, vagabonds, it s Christmas, 

And the clans are congregating ; 

O, vagabonds, it s Christmas, 

And we ve come so far away ; 

And in the lonesome shadows 

They are waiting, waiting, waiting 

For those who ve lost the road that leads 

To Home and Christmas Day. 

We met our mate, the tramping wind, and so we 

let it lead us 
From one with rose-blood in her veins and 

sunshine in her hair ; 

It called us from a mother who we thought 
would never need us 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 99 

Until the gray December winds brought in 
her silent prayer. 

For Christmas on the Off-trail 
Isn t what we used to think it; 
The little horns are calling 
With the roll-beat of the drum ; 
And as we lift our mocking toast 
And sullenly we drink it, 
A kid calls "Mothermother" 
And we know how far we ve come. 

Gray ghosts across the drifting years, they come 

upon our dreaming, 
The kids we used to know before we knew the 

rover s fate, 
The little stockings by the hearth, the mother 

love a-streaming 

From weary eyes that look in vain beyond an 
old-time gate. 



100 SONGS OF THE STALWARt 

O, vagabonds, tomorrow 

We will start with rag and pack again ; 

And leave a merry song behind 

Without a parting word ; 

But now we d give our souls to know 

The Christmas highway back again, 

To whisper "Mother mother" 

And to know that she had heard. 

WITH THE TRAMPING WINDS 

"To meet my mate, the wind, that tramps the 

world." 

KIPLING. 

You and I and the rest of us, 

Who are driftwood down the world 

Who are merely mates to the tramping wind 
As the drifting breeze is whirled 

We, too, have dreams as the dusk comes on 
And our weary mate dies down, 

i 



SONGS OF THE STALWART IOI 

But it isn t a dream of name or fame 
We missed in the dreary town. 

We know, gaunt tramps of the passing years, 

What the dusk dream is that calls, 
And it isn t of glory we have missed 

Far off in the city walls ; 
But the old, old dream of sun-spun hair 

And eyes of the violet stain, 
And a pair of lips with the crimson glow 

Of the rosebud rinsed in rain. 

We might have fought and we might have won, 

But that isn t here or there; 
We might have stayed till the laurel came, 

But that isn t worth a care ; 
But vagabonds at the edge of dusk, 

We know what we ve come to miss 
When ghosts of children that might have been 

Come for their good-night kiss. 



A VOICE FROM THE DUSK 

Here s another one on yes, another Thank- 
giving, 

For those of us lucky enough to be living, 
So let us get maudlin, as vagabonds will, 
Who are long on self-pity and hitting the pill, 
Or pulling old dreams that are all out of rhyme, 
Forgotten, long-vanished, or dusty with Time. 

Old dreams from the years that are now dim, 

undated, 
Of home and a mother and some one who 

waited 

To greet our return from the laurel-grown track, 
But who waited in vain, for we lost the way 

back, 
Or, enmeshed in the game with the hands dealt 

by Fate, 
The clock struck again and we found it too 

late. 

1 02 



SONGS OF THE STALWART I<>3 

Thanksgiving well, even a hapless tailender 

Should have at least something of thanks he can 
render, 

And though off the trail that we once hoped to 
know, 

We might have been under it six feet or so ; 

So here in the light where the phantoms dis 
perse, 

Here s looking and thanks that it wasn t all 
worse. 

THE LAST INN 

You have come to the end of the highway, 

Traveler, 

Here where the Last Inn waits ; 
You have turned at last from the byway, Trav 
eler, 

In through the Twilight Gates ; 
And we who know where your way has led 
Shall drink tonight where the wine runs red 



104 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

To one who has only gone ahead 
Through lines of the phantom fates. 

You have come to the end ol the Long Road, 
Traveler, 

Here where the stars gleam pale ; 
And there s never a chance it s the wrong road, 
Traveler, 

Winding beyond the vale ; 
So we shout to you, where the many weep, 

"Good luck to you where the shadows creep, 
Godspeed to you where the dreams are deep 

Till we, too, come to the trail." 

WHEN APRIL CALLS 

Now that Young April s back again 
Where Spring has melted out the snow, 

Why should we dally longer here 
Who have so far to go? 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 105 

Why should we dally longer now 

To find where deeper pleasures dwell? 

Since life can show but these two things 
A hail and a farewell. 

ALONG A FRIENDLY ROAD 

Driftwood, dreamer, vagabond, 

And all your motley crew, 
I hereby yield my humble gift 

To all the drift of you 
The friendly hail, the grip of hand, 

That frame the rover s code, 
And all the luck a tramp might have 

Along a friendly road. 

And if by chance there comes a time 

When you might wish for me 
A proper share of pleasant fate 

Across the years to be 



106 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

What is there more to ask than this, 

Within this brief abode, 
A pal or two a dream or two 

Along a friendly road? 

THE VAGABOND SPEAKS 

No foot of soil on this wide earth I own ; 

No hearthside calls me through the drifting 

years ; 

No town, no state, no borderland may bring 
Gray ghosts of dreams back to the living glow; 
And yet I know the whole, wide world is mine 
The fields, the trees, the rivers and the sky, 
And each far haunt to which my restless feet 
Shall lead, if only for the night, is home. 

There is no wealth to which I may lay claim; 
No gold nor silver which the world holds dear ; 
And yet I hold the yellow gold which gleams 
From summer s sunlight and the winter moon, 



SONGS OF THE STALWART I7 

From each far star that lights my outbound 

way ; 

And all the silver of the dew is mine 
In violet vales and valleys of the dawn 
Through which I wander with the ghosts of 

dreams. 

There is no kith nor kin nor human kind 
To wonder when I come their way again. 
Yet I am brother to the wandering winds, 
And soul-kin to the roving rains that come 
In slanting aisles to seek me from the hills ; 
Gray dusks of starlight and of sudden storms 
Are friends enough when one has come to rest 
Before tomorrow beckons further on. 

THANKSGIVING FROM THE ROAD 

Thanksgiving day ! At countless boards the 
home clan gathers face to face ; 



108 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

The circle forms and clan to clan they pledge 

the kinship of the race ; 
So on the Off-trail you and I, old dog, shall lift 

our glasses high : 

To the Trail that follows an alien track 
To the Trail that never will carry us back; 
And then to dream, when the dusk grows black, 

a dream that will never die. 

Thanksgiving day! Well, we, too, knew what 

-home meant in the years that were ; 
What home as if it matters here where alien 

shadows drift and blur 
So on the Off-trail, man to man, we ll still pledge 

with a smiling eye 

The Trail that beckoned us with its plea 
From home and those we shall never see, 
And then to dream, as it used to be, a dream 

that will never die. 



"MIGHT HAVE BEEN" 

Here s to "The days that might have been" ; 

Here s to "The life I might have led" ; 
The fame I might have gathered in 

The glory ways I might have sped. 
Great "Might Have Been," I drink to you 

Upon a throne where thousands hail 
And then there looms another view 

I also "might have been" in jail. 

O "Land of Might Have Been," we turn 
With aching hearts to where you wait; 

Where crimson fires of glory burn, 
And laurel crowns the guarding gate; 

We may not see across your fields 

The sightless skulls that knew their woe 

The broken spears the shattered shields 

That "might have been" as truly so. 
109 



HO SONGS OF THE STALWART 

"Of all sad words of tongue or pen" 

So wails the poet in his pain 
The saddest are, "It might have been," 

And world-wide runs the dull refrain. 
The saddest? Yes but in the jar 

This thought brings to me with its curse, 
I sometimes think the gladdest are 

"It might have been a blamed sight worse." 



WITH RAG AND PACK 

They have gripped us you and me in the 

sweat heap of the throng; 
They have chained us to the job and we may 

not break away ; 
And we may not follow now where the red road 

winds along 

Through the sun and wind and rain to the 
edge of night and day. 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 1 1 1 

They have gripped us you and me but our 

dreams have snapped the chains, 
And with rag and pack have left by the still 

uncharted trails 
Through the starlight and the storms by the 

mountain peaks and plains, 
Where the seventh sea unrolls to a thousand 
gleaming sails. 

They may look on us as slaves or as captives of 

the town, 
But we ll laugh them back in scorn, though 

our weary bodies bend, 

As our free souls range the hills where the tor 
rents hurtle down 

And we take an untrod path by a road that 
knows no end. 

We are off to come no more where our weary 
bodies wait, 



112 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Through the grasses and the woods by an 

ever-singing stream, 
Through the wind and sun and rain on beyond 

the city s gate, 

Drifting vagabonds at home in the Romany of 
dream. 

O, YOU ROMANY! 

Slip me the rag and pack, 

The world-wide, open track, 

The trail that leads from dawn to dusk across 

the heart of life; 
Only a song to sing 
In light heart wandering 
By vale and hill and mountainside beyond the 

endless strife. 

Where is the heart to stay 
When the west wind calls "Away" 
When the east wind and the north wind and the 
south wind in refrain 



SONGS OF THE STALWART H3 

Plead in the early light 
Call through the gloom of night 
Of byways and of highways through the sun 
shine and the rain? 

No one to wonder when 

I come this way again. 

No one to watch and wait for me when I have 

passed beyond; 
No weary tears to shed 
Because some dream is dead 
Where every dawn shall send its dream to every 

vagabond. 

Where dull care leaves the mind 
Free from the sudden grind, 
Free as the drifting winds that romp by heather 

and by foam, 

\Vhile no set lamp shall burn 
To wait for my return, 
Yet each far strand I touch upon shall be the 

Port of Home. 



SPRING ON THE OFF-TRAIL 

Come on, you vagabonds, and follow down the 

way, 
The red road that s leading to the crimson heart 

of May; 
And little we ll be caring if it s winter or it s 

spring 
As long as we can meet a pal or find a song to 

sing. 

Come on, you driftwood, and toss aside your 
load, 

Here s the Gate to Spring again and here s the 
Open Road; 

And never mind the rest of it the blossom-bor 
dered thrills, 

Where we can find a friendly hail that echoes 

from the hills. 

114 



SONGS OF THE GAME 



TWO OUT AND THE BASES FULL 

Two out and the bases full 

Three runs to win and two to tie ; 
And then, amid the boding lull, 

Looms Jackson of the Batting Eye ; 
I watch the pitcher writhe and whirl 

And shoot one from his mounded pen 
I see the white pill dart and curl 

As Jackson s bludgeon swings and then 

In that one moment through the stands 

There runs before the groans and cheers 

The taut grip of ten thousand hands 
The pulse leap of a thousand years; 

The one great throbbing human call 
Above all science, war, or love, 

As crashing bat meets speeding ball 

Or speeding ball meets waiting glove. 
117 



Il8 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Here end the sorrows of the race 

All want and wretchedness and crime; 
Where care must seek another place, 

Where sin must hide another time ; 
Here where the heart s wiped clean and dry- 

The drudge soul lifted from the pit 
For those who wait for the reply 

A Strike-out or a Two-base Hit? 

WEAK WILLED 

When the Sun, the Wind and the Rain 

Call me out to the moors 
Beckon to hill and to plain 

And the lure of the Great Out Doors 

When they speak of the Open Sky 
Of a Swing and a Follow Through 

And the blue Hills echo the cry 
What else can a poor man do? 



FROM THE GAME 

Since I have seen the greatest fade 

The game has ever known ; 
Since I have watched the stars who played 

Drop out and walk alone 
The game at least has taught me this, 

From birth across to death, 
That headlines are a fleeting bliss 

And fame is but a breath. 

A star renowned ties up the score, 

Amid the frenzied calls, 
But when you look for him once more 

He s back with Cedar Falls ; 
But yesterday he ruled the field 

And held the rooters trust ; 
Tomorrow on the record shield 

His name will be in dust. 
119 



120 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

The game will teach you quite a bit, 

If you should care to learn, 
How brief the space from peak to pit 

When one has reached the turn ; 
And all the shifting seasons through 

You ll find amid the plot, 
How soon a Chance can fade from view, 

A Walsh can be forgot. 



AT SPORT S FRONTIER 

Let those who will seek out below the crowded 

ways of earth, 
The narrow road the trodden trail around the 

circle s girth; 
Poor vagabonds who wander far the beaten path 

along 
To find the peace of solitude among the jostling 

throng ; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 121 

Where er they go where they may be, 
By mead or hill or open sea, 
The path is crossed and out their day 
The legion crowds them from the way 
And holds them to the last at bay. 

But we, who seek .the road above, have found 
the Open Lane ; 

One with the wander winds of dawn the drift 
ing sun and rain ; 

Our course is where the red stars call and where 
the wild birds fly, 

The only barrier we know is rimmed against the 
sky; 

Where er we go by dusk or dawn 

The open highway calls us on, 

The trail is clear and out through space 

We meet the sunset face to face, 

And know the Twilight s resting place. 



122 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

The cities fade within the mist a blur against 
the plain, 

Where air guns wait for us below to seek for 
us in vain; 

And then, above the rolling clouds, where death 
comes riding by, 

We meet our rival face to face against the end 
less sky; 

The rifle speaks the bullet sings 

Its song of hate through mighty wings; 

And then we see him lurch and reel 

And flutter like a wounded teal, 

To dip and vanish head and heel. 

THE UNIVERSAL BOAST 
I ve heard the boast of the cities 

The boast of hamlet and town ; 
The chant of their civic virtues 

Deserving the olive crown ; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 123 

Some for their manufactures 

Others for this or that, 
From New York over to Denver, 

From Boston to Medicine Hat. 

I ve heard the boast of the cities, 

But over the ringing call 
One alone from the many 

Echoes over them all ; 
Out of the medley chorus 

Hark to the central theme 
"THIS IS A WONDERFUL BALL TOWN 
-IF 

THEY LL GIVE US A WINNING TEAM." 

THE CALL OF THE AGE 

"Get in the Game" so runs the call 

Along the line of play, 
When seasoned ash meets speeding ball 
To drive it on the way ; 



124 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Where base hits echo out the scene 

Athwart the winning run 
Where flying spikes cut through the green 

Which glistens in the sun. 

"Get in the Game" so runs the cry 

Across the nation s sweep; 
Where flags are tossed against the sky 

And silent shadows creep ; 
Where camp lights flicker in their glow 

And pickets pass the sign 
To face whatever Fate may throw 
Against the forming line. 

"Get in the Game" the old, old call 

Has caught a newer note; 
But still the ancient echoes fall 

By mountain and by moat ; 
Where life is something more than dreams 

And softer days have gone 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 125 

Before the greater day that gleams 
Against a redder dawn. 

"Get in the Game" the echo lifts 

Beyond the grip of fate, 
And farther still the slogan drifts 

To where the legions wait ; 
The ancient slogan of the clan, 

Where those have met before 
To fill the line up, man by man, 

And find the winning score. 

TO JOHN HENRY WAGNER 

(Upon the Occasion of His Forty-third 
Birthday.) 

I 

Gee 

But I d like to be 

A kid like you, at forty-three 

Wrinkled, perhaps, and somewhat gray, 



126 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

But still a kid a kid at heart 

A player on the field of play, 

Waiting another season s start 

Waiting still for the bell to ring 

At forty-three Oh, gee 

For spring an old-time spring 

Not of the spring the poets sing 

The spring of roses and old dreams 

But, rather, of the Crash and Bing, 

Of two-base hits and winning teams 

The ancient roar 

That echoes in a jubilee 

When your long triple ties the score, 

At forty-three. 

II 

Oh, boy 

If I could only know the joy 
At forty-three, 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Of waiting for a spring like that, 
To take my place out in the game 
With spike and glove, with ball and bat, 
While thirty thousand cheered by name 
To look Age in the face and grin 
The while I held Youth by the hand- 
To play the game out lose or win 
As only you can understand 
You, who still romp amid the clan 
Of those unborn when you began. 

Ill 

At forty-three 

I know where most of us will be 
Gouty and old or fat and slow 
Dressed up, without a place to go 
Along the royal road of play 
In games that hold a nation s sway; 
But you, still in the morning s sun, 
Have only started just begun 



128 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

You who, amid the long parade, 

Saw Matty start and shine and fade 

Saw Waddell, Walsh and Chance and Brown 

Rise up make good and then drop down, 

Forgotten in each fickle town, 

While you 

Well, back at forty-two, 

No pitchers cheered the season through 

When you came hulking into view. 

IV 

Some game we know 

But you, who ve seen them come and go, 

Know how soon Youth runs into Age, 

As, one by one, the old Bush calls, 

As great names leave the Sporting Page 

And even mighty Larry falls, 

But you, alone, 

Cling to the throne, 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Not caring that the hour is late, 

Defying Tide and Time and Fate ; 

Or, maybe, Hans, you must have known 

That out the highway, mile by mile, 

If you had faded, passed or flown, 

The game would not have been worth while, 

Baseball without Hans Wagner s name? 

Who d care to see that sort of game? 

A box score minus Wagner s hit? 

We couldn t even think of it ! 

V 

Wars drift by 

Wars and rumors of war s alarm 

But the light still flames in your Batting Eye, 

And the snap remains in your ancient arm ; 

For Time has beckoned you in vain 

Has called you with its yearly plea 

But you still hold your ancient reign 

And stick around at forty-three 



13 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

At forty-three when most of them at thirty-four 

Have long since faded from the push 

Have driven in their final score 

Or drifted back into the Bush. 

But you have never heard Time call, 

Too busy out there playing ball, 

Making a fancy stop or hit 

Or all the bally rest of it. 

VI 

And so 

From all who love the game, 

Here s to the glory of your fame 

Wave on, forever wave, Old Scout, 

Safe from the Umpire s final "Out" 

You, who have found the fabled fount 

Of Youth, and April s-yet-to-be 

You who have spurned Time s fatal count 

To play the game at forty-three. 



BALLADE OF BRUISERS 

"Into the night go one and all." 

W. E. HENLEY. 

Where are the burly fists that swayed 

The raging millions blow by blow? 
The crashing jabs that each essayed 

For cheering crowds to see and know? 
Old John L. s slam against the foe? 

Jim Corbett s skill amid the brawl? 
The brave the big the fast the slow ? 

"Into the night go one and all." 

War gods that led the Big Parade- 
Where Ruby Robert got the dough; 

Or out the regal cavalcade 

Where Big Jeff ruled the fighting show ; 

Hail Fighting Men in battle glow! 
No answer echoes to our call, 

Save on the far wind s undertow 
"Into the night go one and all." 



I3 2 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

The curtain swings the slam is made 

Far whirls the cheering, to and fro; 
Fame stalks across the Open Glade 

For stalwarts forming, row on row; 
Jack Johnson ? None might overthrow 

This sable king s eternal thrall, 
Until his time had come to know 

"Into the night go one and all." 

So one by one they come and go 
Nor heed amid the laureled stall, 

Fame s vanished ghosts that whisper low 
"Into the night go one and all." 

THE BUSH TO THE BIG LEAGUE 

I send you my sons and my favorite ones, 

The sons that I love the best ; 
I send them to you when I know they are due 

And ready to tackle the test; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART !33 

I send you my sons, but it isn t a gift, 

It s merely a loan, for when 
They have served out their day of "promotion 
and pay" 

They come to my arms again. 

For they all come back to their Mother, 

However the die is cast ; 
They gather the cheers of the radiant years 

But the Bush is their home at last. 
I reach them and enfold them, I make them and 
mold them, 

By fields of the East and West ; 
And then at the time of their ball playing prime 

You take them away from my breast ; 
You give them acclaim at the height of their 
fame, 

In the glow of their youth but when 
They are broken and done and their glory is 
spun 

They come to my arms again. 



134 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

For they all come back to their Mother, 

However the die is cast ; 
They gather the cheers of the radiant years, 

But they come to my arms at last. 

They leave me to go where their glory s aglow 

In the gleam of a mighty renown, 
And their eyes see the light of a flag winning 
fight 

In the swirl of a major league town ; 
But speeding Time cries to the Mattys and TVS, 

As well as the others and then 
As they turn to the truth from the rare dreams 
of youth 

They come to my arms again. 

For they all come back to their Mother, 

However the die is cast ; 
They gather the cheers of the radiant years, 

But they come to my arms at last. 



THE LAND OF PAR 

There are days when my drives wing far, 

When my iron shots clear the rut; 
But then when I get on the green in two 
I putt and I putt and I putt. 

There are days when my chip shots roll 

Like a Vardon s to the pin, 
But I ve missed my drive and I ve taken six 

At last when the putt drops in. 

There are days when my putts run true 
And straight to the waiting hole ; 

But these are the days when my mashie shots 
Have shattered my aching soul. 

Oh, gods of the golfer s realm, 

Over the bunkered heather, 
When is the day to come when I 

Hook three fine shots together? 
135 



136 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

From over the mystic seas 

The answer clears the foam 
"On the day St. Peter turns the key 

And Heaven calls you home." 

THERE UP AND BACK 

I 

I saw him first a kid 
A hard, free-swinging devil in the Bush ; 
Fast as the winds that sweep the open plains, 
As fast as the lightning flashes down the sky, 
With rippling muscles wrought of tempered 

steel, 

Steel springs within his arm 
And in his legs, 
And in his face 
The burning glow of Youth, 
Raw Youth that turned his labor into play, 
And made him romp and revel 
Out the field 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 137 

And laugh at errors that were but a part 

Of all the fun 

That he was having there. 

II 

And then I saw him in a higher league, 

A kid just coming to know his worth, 

Who looked ahead 

And dreamed of Big League fame, 

The plaudits of ten thousand raving fans, 

And all the Hip-hip and the rest of it 

That hailed "Another Cobb," 

A coming Tris, 

With endless speed 

And power for the peg. 

Ill 
I saw him next 

When he had reached the top ; 

A mighty ruler in the Realm of Swat, 

Where raving thousands 



138 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Cheered his regal sway 

And all the world lay at his steel-shod feet ; 

Where blazing headlines 

Gave his Batting Eye 

High place with War 

And armies on the march, 

Or precedence above 

Such tawdry things as diplomats and czars ; 

For he could hit 

With any man that lived 

And range afar for hits that others made, 

And so for ten great years he held his place 

And saw the world but in the flashing glow 

Of easy fame 

And royal circumstance. 

IV 

And then I saw the arm once made of steel 
Begin to rust and crack and lose its snap ; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 139 

I saw the drag that came upon his speed 

As cheers turned into jeers 

Where day by day 

His waning blows popped into waiting hands ; 

I saw the smile fade out upon his face 

That turned, bewildered, to a crowd that once 

Had been his friend, but now 

Was shrieking "Take him out !" 

"Back to the Bush, you bonehead, on the jump." 

"Go get a crutch, go out somewhere and die !" 

And still they wondered 

Why he was a crab. 

V 

I saw him next 
Back in the Bush again, 
The circle finished and the journey done ; 
An old and broken man at thirty-three, 
Who played as in a dream, 



140 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

And who above 

The taunting jeers that came 

From tank town fans that jeered his labored play 

Still heard from far away, 

From other years, 

The mighty roar of twenty thousand men 

Who called upon him for the winning hit, 

Who shrieked and stamped and howled their 

mad acclaim 

When from his bat the streaking missile flew ; 
His rough red hand was pulled across his eyes, 
But still he could not wipe the dream away 
Of some lost June 
Back in another age 
Where Youth, raw Youth, 
Was sweeping him along, 
Not mocking, in its course, 
A faded dream. 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 
VI 

And still, within the stands, they sit and say, 
"Well, pretty soft for that bird, getting paid 
For having fun 
Like this each afternoon.* 



THE CAUSE ETERNAL 

Here exist the oldest words the hand of man has 

written, 

"Umpire s bum decision lost the game." 
Penned long, weary years before Queen Cleo 

Pat was bitten, 

"Umpire s bum decision lost the game." 
Shortstops may have booted six or seven easy 

chances, 

Batsmen may have popped to first or whiffed 
in dull-eyed trances, 



142 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

But next day in the public prints this line meets 

angry glances 
"Umpire s bum decision cost the game." 

Back in old Doc Homer s day this line was sere 

and yellow, 

"Umpire s bum decision lost the game." 
What is that resounding phrase young Spartans 

used to bellow? 

"Umpire s bum decision lost the game." 
Fielders kick the ball about from season unto 

season, 
Pitchers tear off passes in a style that smacks 

of treason, 
But when the bally scrap is lost, you know the 

final reason 
"Umpire s bum decision cost the game." 



EVEN THIS SHALL PASS AWAY" 

"Once in Persia ruled a King, 
Who upon his signet ring 
Graved a motto true and wise 
Which, when held before his eyes, 
Gave him counsel at a glance, 
Fit for any change or chance. 
Solemn words and these were they, 

Even this shall pass away. 

OLD POEM. 

Once in Eli ruled a "Camp" 
Who each year produced a Champ, 
Where crowds chortled "Atta Boy," 
At a Shevlin or a Coy, 
Where he hurled the Crimson back 
With the Orange and the Black, 
Yet there echoed o er the fray: 
"Even this shall pass away." 



144 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Unto Harvard s waning star 
Came one day another Czar, 
One who molded a machine 
Without equal on the green; 
One who made the Tiger quail, 
One who put a dent in Yale ; 
But I heard the far winds say: 
"Even this shall pass away." 

One by one I watch them fade 
Back within the Spectral Glade 
Matty, Wagner, Brown and Kling, 
Walsh and Bender on the wing; 
And today we hear the mob 
Clamor out the fame of Cobb ; 
Cobb who holds unbroken sway 
"Even this shall pass away." 



THE RECORD 

When the Game is Done 
And the Players creep 
One by one 

To the League of Sleep 
Deep in the Night 

They may not know 
The way of the fight, 
The fate of the foe, 
And the cheer that passed 

From applauding bands 
Is stilled at last 
But the Record stands. 

The base hits made, 

And the errors wrought ; 

How the Game was played 
How the fight was fought- 



14$ SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Though the Game be done 

Where the Night is deep 
And one by one 

From the Field they creep 
Their day has passed 

Through the Twilight Gates, 
But the Scroll is cast 

And the Record waits. 

SCOTIA S REBUTTAL 

(The last British amateur golf championship was 
won by J. L. C. Jenkins, of Troon, Scotland.) 

Aye there, MacPherson, it s just as it should be ; 
It s just as we knew in our hearts that it would 

be; 
It s just what we ve waited and watched for long 

years 
As we stood to one side with our bottled-up 

cheers ; \ 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 147 

But the Hiltons and Ouimets and Travers and 

Balls 
Are driven at last from the championship 

stalls 
As the May winds are lifting one toast in a 

croon 
"To the health of our own Lawrie Jenkins, of 

Troon." 

Aye there, MacPherson, go round up the block 
Go fetch us in Jamie and Sandy and Jock, 
For the thistle at last tops the shamrock and 

rose 
And the proud eagle flutters and flops with the 

crows ; 
The game has come back to the land of its 

birth, 
To the mother that nursed it and gave it its 

worth ; 



148 SONGS OFTHE STALWART 

And we ll join in the chorus of May winds that 

croon 
"To the health of our own Lawrie Jenkins, of 

Troon." 

We knew it, MacPherson it came to our ken 

That Scotia was due for her glory again; 

For who was the race that first walloped the 
pill 

And baffed, hooked and stymied from valley to 
hill? 

And who was the race that first swung from the 
tee 

And planted a mashie shot dead for a "three" ? 

So we ll drink in the dream glow of St. An 
drew s moon 

"To the health of our own Lawrie Jenkins, of 
Troon." 



PUMPELLY OF YALE 

(Who, with a minute left to play, took his place 
os a substitute and kicked a 50-yard field goal 
in a Yale-Princeton game.) 

If you figure they ve overplayed fiction, 

Where substitutes rise in the fray 
Without the least semblance of friction 

And make the star play of the day 
If you figure such stuff is a breeder 

Of yarns that are foolish or stale 
Just a moment, I beg of you, Reader 

Shake hands with Pumpelly of Yale. 

When you read some impossible story 
Of a Sub who was jammed in the game, 

With one minute left where his gory 
Companions were beaten in shame 

"He met the last hope like a fighter, 

A full fifty yards without fail" 
149 



150 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Ere you start in to pan the poor writer 
Shake hands with Pumpelly of Yale. 

"But one minute left for the battle, 

When Smithers, the Sub, took his place 
His signal rang out with a rattle 

A boding hush fell on the place 
Thud ! Boom ! With a kick that was mulish 

They saw the ball whirl up and sail" 
You say this is soppy and foolish? 

Shake hands with Pumpelly of Yale. 

AN OLD REFRAIN 

"To the glory that was Greece, 
i 

And the grandeur that was Rome." 

POE. 
Out along an ancient track, 

Where Fate takes its fickle spin, 
Greece and Rome have drifted back 
As the Bush has called them in; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

So, amid the hit-and-miss, 
\Ye now shift the battle cry 

To the glory that is Tris 

And the grandeur that is Ty_ 

Greece once hit .484, 

Rome poled out .493 ; 
Each one knew the Winning Score 

In the mighty jubilee; 
Once they knew the buoyant bliss 

Linked unto the Batting Eye, 
Knew the glory that is Tris 

And the grandeur that is Ty. 

One and all fade from the frame, 

Men and nations through the fight 

Hold their brief span in the game 
As they pass into the night; 

But before they come to this 

Now, before their fame must fly 



*5 2 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Here s the glory that is Tris 
And the grandeur that is Ty. 

BALLADE OF HEROES 

(Bob Emslie has just concluded his 2$th year as 
an umpire.} 

When Hindenburg held the Russ at bay 

His name was entered upon Fame s hall; 
When General Joff checked the Teuton sway, 

The Red Game bowed to his mighty thrall, 
The Lily of France crept out of the pall . 

And medals were pinned on his gleaming coat ; 
Who is the greatest hero of them all? 

Emslie s the entry that gets my vote! 

The Trooper faces the shrapnel s spray, 

And he is a hero beyond recall ; 
To face grim death in the deadly fray, 

To give your life at the country s call 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 153 

Where has glgry a greater haul? 

Show me the chance for a greater gloat! 
On the Field of Honor the heroes fall ; 

But Emslie s the fellow that gets my vote ! 

Haunted and taunted, day by day, 

For a thousand weeks by the sore fan s squall, 
Branded a thief upon each called play, 

Hissed and hooted on each pitched ball; 
Held to scorn in the biting scrawl, 

The One and Only Eternal Goat- 
Come, ye heroes and crowd the stall 

Emslie s the entry that gets my vote! 

From the northern snows into flowered Gaul, 
By the Seven Seas where the great hulks float, 

On with the laurel from Pall to Mall 
Emslie s the entry that gets my vote ! 



RUBE MARQUARD S SOLILOQUY 

How speed the ages on their way 

How old Doc Time must flutter by ; 
How brief, alas, each vanished day 

As centuries arise and die; 
For here I see it jotted down 

On history s eternal slate 
Where Babylon was quite a town 

And I had Nineteen Straight. 

But yesterday J. Caesar cleaned 

The pennant up in vanished Gaul ; 
But yesterday Kid David beaned 

Goliath with his swiftest ball; 
For I remember from the mold 

Of Things That Were each deed and date- 
When Cleopatra knocked em cold 

And I had Nineteen Straight. 
J54 



SONGS OF THE STALWART J 55 

Within my den at night I read 

Forgotten legends of the years; 
Gray age on age, I lamp the screed 

Of Hector s fall and Helen s tears ; 
Aye back beyond Time s fading ridge 

I trail with those who leered at Fate 
When old Horatius held the bridge 

And I had Nineteen Straight. 

THE RACE 

(. . ."Jockey Smith, fatally injured in the 
third race, never regained consciousness. All 
through the night he was still in the saddle in his 
delirium, urging his mount forward, pleading, 
cursing, attempting to use both whip and spur." 
...) 
Stirrup to stirrup and neck to neck; 

On through the night with the wire to gain; 
White foam crowned with a crimson fleck 

Gaunt hands clutching a mystic rein; 



156 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Into the stretch that men call Life, 

Now he is cursing and now he pleads 

The whip comes down like the slash of a knife 
But the Pale Horse, Death, in the saddle, leads. 

Into the stretch, where, side by side, 

A specter clings to a phantom s back; 
God what a race this is to ride 

With never a thud on the starless track ; 
With never a cheer from the shadowed stands, 

And never a sound save a half-choked 

breath^- 
On and on through the Lonesome Lands, 

Riding a Dream in a race with Death! 

SOMEWHERE IN THE GAME 
Somewhere in the Game 

Beyond the grip of battle and the dream 
Of greater conquests and of richer fame 

There comes the chance to lay aside the gleam, 



SONGS OF THE STALWART *57 

The gleam that we call glory or renown 
But which is mostly myth to lend a hand 

To some fagged, reeling entry who is down, 
And give him one more scrimmage with the 
band. 

Somewhere in the Game 

You ll find a good bit more than winning strife, 
The fickle cheering or the mad acclaim 

That you once thought to be the sum of life ; 
You ll find the value of all this is small, 

A drifting phantom through a shadowed glen, 
Where you might lift some pal who had to fall, 

And give him one more chance to start again. 

LINES TO STUFFY McINNIS 
Stuffy, I ve often wondered 

Just how it seems to you, 
Groping around in the cellar, 

Part of a tail-end crew ; 



158 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Under the Yanks and Indians, 

Trailing even the Browns 
You who were part of the Cossack Guard 

That raided the captured towns. 

Stuffy, I ve often wondered, 

Here in my Harlem den, 
Do ghosts of the lost years ever 

Gather for you again? 
Ghosts of the vanished legion 

Back ere the bubble burst, 
With Collins, Baker and Barry 
em out at first? 



Stuffy, watching a rally 
Curbed by a weaker mate, 

Doesn t the ghost of Baker 
Stalk again to the plate? 

Doesn t the shadow of Bender 
Quiver athwart your flank? 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 159 

How would you like to be working 
Back of the shoots of Plank? 

Piking alone with trailers, 

Here as the summer flits, 
Sometimes isn t it lonesome 

Wasting your two-base hits? 
Batting above Three Hundred 

While hanging on to a dream 
Swept from the years behind you, 

Last of the Old Regime? 

THE GAME AND THE PIPER 

This is your Game, old pal, the Game that you 

loved so well; 
That crowned you King of the Field through the 

sweep of a golden spell; 
That put the world at your feet in the border of 

dreams-come-true, 
But here at the end of the trail well, what has 

it done for you? 



160 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

It gave you fame in a flash, 
And rank at a tender age ; 

The thrill of the headlong clash, 
A Name on the Printed Page. 

Then jeers for the cheers of old, 
It gave with a snarl of glee ; 

It took your job in the fold, 
And you were but thirty-three. 

At the year when most men start 
On the wide trail s upward sweep, 

It broke your grip and your heart 
In the rut where the Hasbeens creep. 

Acclaimed in the Big Corral, 

Loud cheered in the Ruling Push, 

Say, how does it feel, old pal, 
To be bawled out in the Bush? 



SONGS OF THE STALWART l6l 

In the Bush with a worn-out wing, 
Loud cursed on a tank town lot, 

The Game, yes, it made you king, 
Has it made you pay or not ? 

This is your Game, old pal, the Game that you 

loved so well, 
That crowned you King of the Field through the 

sweep of a golden spell ; 
You ve saved from the grip of time from the 

laurel that crowned your brow 
A dream and a worn-out glove well, what is 

the answer now ? 

AS IT SOMETIMES HAPPENS 

He took his turn, half-heartedly, outlining an 

excuse ; 
He figured he was beaten so he couldn t see 

the use ; 



162 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

But when he made his little play, it took a lucky 

swerve, 

A sudden, unexpected hop a title-winning curve, 
And straightway they exclaimed about his "cour 
age" and his "nerve." 

He started in with bulldog jaw to make a win 
ning fight; 

He started in to see it through, as any stalwart 
might ; 

But when he cut in with his play, it took a hard- 
luck bound 

And caromed as it shouldn t have on any sort of 
ground, 

And so they rose and branded him a "quitter" 
and a "hound." 



SONGS ABOVE THE DRUMFIRE 



BEYOND THE CHARGE 

Far to the right the big guns tell their story ; 

For to the left the shrapnel hurtles by, 
Singing again its song of death and glory, 
Where, in between, the marching ghosts drift 

by; 

You in the lines still watch the vivid token 
Flashed through the dusk in all its crimson 

gleam, 
But here, through the night, we hold our sleep 

unbroken, 
Dreamers too worn to dream. 

Here is "the peace that passeth understanding," 
The peace that we have waited through the 

years ; 
No more grim captains of the strife commanding 

Worn hosts to charge the battlement of tears ; 
165 



166 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

No more the heartache of a vain endeavor, 
Into the storm of bitter battle drawn ; 

Deep falls the night where winds come whisper 
ing, "Never 
Never another dawn." 

Never another dawn where, to eyes weary, 

The gray light steals upon the sleeper s rest ; 
The tramp of feet, the call of bugle dreary, 

To end the dream or stir the dreamer s breast ; 
Never another dawn with strife s Tomorrow, 

The Day is done the last lone couch awaits 
Here, at the Road s End of all strife and sorrow, 

Safe through the twilight gates. 

WHAT OF IT? 

Perhaps the time is nearing when we ll all go to 
the front; 

But what of it? 



SONGS OF THE STALWART * 6 7 

The married man, the single man, the brawny 
and the runt ; 

But what of it? 

Some twenty millions now have gone the brav 
est and the best 

From every land beneath the sun to face the final 
test; 

Why should we hope to hang around within a 
downy nest? 

So what of it? 

Perhaps when we are called to go we ll find the 
game is tough; 

But what of it? 

We ll find our dreams are shattered where the 
hand of Fate is rough ; 

But what of it? 

We ll find that all our idle joys have come be 
neath a ban ; 



168 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

We ll find our share of bitterness among the fight 
ing clan; 

But was Life made for a weakling or was Life 
made for a Man ? 

So what of it? 

Perhaps among the fallen brave we ll find the 
grave is deep ; 

But what of it? 

Perhaps in somber No Man s Land we ll know 
our final sleep; 

But what of it? 
Since each of us owes God a death and each 

has got to pay 
Why not swing out with valiant stride along the 

open way 

To where the Great Adventure waits this side of 
Judgment Day? 

So what of it? 



ALAN SEEGER 

(American Member of the Foreign Legion, killed 
in Action July 4th, 1916.) 

Somewhere in France where crosses lean 

Above so many graves today ; 
Where faded lilies place their screen 

And summer winds kneel down to pray 
You who first ventured overseas 

To watch, at last, the light grow dim, 
God must have sent his gentlest breeze 

To bring your spirit back to Him. 

Somewhere in France, dust unto dust, 

You wait beyond the Inn of Life, 
Where through lone nights the guarding crust 

Shuts out the clamor of the strife; 
But far above the crimson sod 

No barrier your soul might stop, 
169 



170 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

When from the Great White Throne of God 
You see the Legion cross the top. 

A year ago today you knew 

The endless melody of song ; 
You saw that summer skies were blue 

That drifting summer days were long; 
You waited, while the twilight s breath 

Came crooning some old serenade, 
To hold your "rendezvous with Death 

At some disputed barricade. * 

Today the Legion holds the line 

Unbroken by the driving mass, 
Where you have helped to write the sign 

In dripping blood "They Shall Not Pass I 
And now beyond the far divide 

You see the Starry Flag advance 
Among the millions who have died 

For love of Liberty and France. 



SONGS OF THE STALWART I? 1 

The Eagle s wings at last are spread 

Above a never-beaten shield, 
Where still among the deathless dead 

Your specter haunts the clotted field; 
And borne afar on summer s breath 

You send this message hurtling through 
"I had a rendezvous with Death 

I did not fail that rendezvous!" 

OVER THERE 

As through the mists we looked and dreamed 
How far how far away it seemed 

Over There ; 

The red flash of their cannon fire 
The flame that lit some reeling spire 
The mighty thunder of their guns 

Which sang the Master Song of death, 
The ghosts which met dawn s rising suns 

And drifted out on April s breath 



I? 2 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Beyond dull sweeps of sky and sea 
How far away it seemed to be ! 
How far away it seemed and then 
We woke and turned -and looked again- 

And now where flames of crimson rise 
How close to us how near it lies 

Over There 

The red flash of their cannon shines 
Upon the steel that arms our lines 
The mighty thunder seems to be 

Less than a half-league from our clan, 
Where Fate has turned an ancient sea 

To something less than half a span ; 
For sweeps of sky and sea are gone 
Where forming, storming lines rush on, 
Waiting the day ahead, until 
Old Glory crowns some battered hill. 



GOLF IN EUROPE 

No more the mashie flicks the, pill 

Along the ancient green; 
No more the brassie s sweeping clout 

Reechoes down the scene; 
But caddies for the player Death 

Amid the shots that fly, 
The only divots they replace 

Are where the dead men lie. 

Deep-bunkered in the crimson trench, 

Unplayable with gore, 
Their flashing irons leap to meet 

The cannon belching "Fore !" 
And where the shrapnel s long approach 

Comes booming through the strife, 
The only par they dream of now 

Is one more day of life. 
i73 



174 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

The verdant turf still winds afar 

Where April s fairway rolls, 
Safe from the iron that today 

Rips only into souls ; 
And each man s drive shall come to rest 

Within a trap so deep 
That nothing but the blade of God 

Shall lift him from his sleep. 

And you who curse the cuppy lie 

Or mourn your wretched fate, 
Because you missed a simple putt 

And marred your perfect slate 
Give one thought to their game today 

Among the rotting dead, 
Where in the wake of every shot 

The dark green turf grows red. 



"SOMEWHERE IN SOMEWHERE" 

Somewhere in Somewhere where the drifting 

shadows creep 

Is there left a dreamless sleep? 
Somewhere beyond the borders of the flame-en 
circled land 

Where the weary make their stand, 
Where the phantom fires of eight million ghosts 

are glowing, 

Where the Marne and Meuse are flowing 
Through valleys of despair; 

Where they sing the endless glory of the na 
tion s fearless men 
Through the battle s crimson glare. 

But how about the millions who will never 
wake again 

Somewhere in Somewhere? 
175 



I7 6 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Somewhere in Somewhere you can hear the 

ghostly tread 

Of the many millions dead ; 
And I wonder if they wonder as they wait by 

land and sea, 
Why it ever had to be? 
Is there sleep, I wonder, broken by the shells 

that echo, screaming, 
Day and night above their dreaming, 
Hurling death across the air? 

The living know the glory of the charge by 

hill and glen 
Where the valiant-hearted fare. 

But how about the millions who will never care 

again 
Somewhere in Somewhere ? 

SONGS THE SOLDIERS SING 
You ll rarely ever find him humming 
A song of war and battle bold ; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 177 

You ll rarely ever hear him strumming 

A lilt set in heroic mold; 
For when he finds the big job grating 

Upon his nerves across the foam, 
He d rather sing of some one waiting 

Back at a place called Home, Sweet Home. 

You d think before some mighty battle, 

Surrounded by the conflict s roar, 
He d make the far flung echoes rattle 

With songs of carnage and of gore; 
You d think, with wild enthusiasm 

He d give vent to his final breath 
With something in a vocal spasm 

That ended "Victory or Death!" 

But when he hears the dusk winds bringing 
Some old dream from the heart of June, 

The chances are you ll hear him singing 
Some long forgotten foolish tune 



I?8 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Something to rhyme with summer posies 
Of blue eyes and the twilight gloam, 

Of lips red with the flame of roses 

Back at a place called Home, Sweet Home. 

OUR UNCLE SAMUEL 

He rarely starts off at top speed ; 

In fact, his legs are often tangled; 
And there are other times, indeed, 

When everything he does is jangled; 
But though he flounders out the slope 

With awkwardness that won t diminish, 
You ll find, on looking up the dope, 

They rarely hook him at the finish. 

Uneven? Yes, as any rhyme, 

And although moving on, intently, 

He seems to waste a lot of time, 
And does to break it more than gently; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART I?9 

And though at times, through awkward fits, 
He seems to have no thought of winning, 

He has a knack of bunching hits 
Before they reach the final inning. 

A queer old duck, our Uncle Sam, 

Now busily pot-hunting Junkers ; 
For form he doesn t give a whoop, 

So long as he can clear the bunkers ; 
His style may be a trifle rough, 

And though he seems to move by inches, 
The old boy s got a lotta stuff 

When he is called on in the pinches. 

FRANCE 

Who loves brave life through all the tides of time 

Where valor holds review 
Craves only this to send his humble rhyme 

Across the seas to you. 



180 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Where once again the winter drift rides down 

Across your plains of red, 
And Christmas snows have once more placed 
their crown 

Above your deathless dead. 

Where, striking through for country and for 
home 

With valiant blow for blow, 
Each young Marcellus builds a grander Rome 

Than all the ages know. 

Though Homer lived to sing your mighty heart 

Above the drumfire s roll, 
What words are there to tell in minor part 

The glory of your soul? 

You who have proved that life is king of death, 

That honor is no wraith, 
You, who are giving to the final breath, 

The fullness of your faith. 



SONGS OF THE STALWART l8l 

Once more the mantle of a Christmas snow 

Drifts deep above each grave, 
Blacker than night against the deathless glow 

Above your fallen brave. 

Once more the moon of winter sends its glearn 

Where, paladin and pawn, 
Each beau sabreur of Valor holds his dream 

Beyond the last white dawn. 

Where each gale sings its requiem today 

By spur and plain and tarn, 
And gentler winds kneel down at dusk to pray 

Along the Meuse and Marne 

Through all the gray-ghost shadows that have 
crept 

Where braver words belong, 
An humble singer asks that you accept 

The tribute of a song. 



PEACE FOR THE KAISER 

Some day when by dune and hill 

Battle flags at last are furled; 
Some day when the drums are still, 

Peace will wreathe a battered world; 
But when Time has run its race, 

All the endless ages through, 
Out beyond eternal space 

Say, what Peace will come to you ! 

While you live? Through each black night 
Ghosts shall gather, dripping red, 

Blotting from your ghastly sight 
Everything except the Dead; 

Formless lines of murdered men 
These alone will haunt your view ; 

Peace is coming back again 

But what Peace will come to you ! 
182 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Through each day though you may strive 
For a hiding place to shun 

Children who should be alive, 
Laughing in the golden sun, 

When their white lips ask you "Why 
Did you war upon us, too?" 

When their wee ghosts flutter by- 
Say, what Peace will come to you ! 

When you die? Yes, graves are deep, 

But where lurking shadows dwell 
Broken forms will haunt your sleep, 

Though your coffin rests on hell. 
Underneath the final sod 

You shall pay the ages through ! 
Peace is coming back Thank God! 

But what Peace will come to you ! 



THREE YEARS AGO 

Three years ago today 

A sudden shadow came by land and sea; 
But all the groping millions went their way, 

Or smiled and whispered, "It could never be" ; 
And they were right for who was so insane 

To think the world could turn to blood and 

tears, 
The world that knew the sunlight and the rain 

And all the golden visions of the years? 

Three years ago today 

The shadow was no larger than your hand; 
And so from all the wondering array 

How could it be that one might understand ? 
Yes, they were right the shadow soon must 
pass, 

For blood was still too dear a thing to flow 
184 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 1*5 

Like mighty rivers gushing in one mass 
To fill vast oceans waiting down below. 

Three years ago today 

Five million men were living, where tonight 
Gray ghosts are groping from the shell-swept 
way 

To find their peace beyond the bitter fight ; 
Five million men were living who have died, 

And who must bide their time in unknown 

graves, 
Because a mad king was not satisfied 

To sit content with eighty million slaves. 



A MESSAGE FROM A FRONT TRENCH 

When my time comes and all farewells are said 
To what few friends may still survive the 
fight, 



186 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

I shall not shrink to hear the ghostly tread 
That signals Death is stalking through the 

night 

To lead me forth across the Mystic Moor 
Unto the Tavern of the Silent Land- 
But I shall smile and through the open door 
We two shall go, as good friends hand in 
hand. 

There I shall meet the friends who ve gone be 
fore, 
And we shall gather in a room apart, 

And, cup to cup, shall pledge the days of yore, 
Soul unto soul and silent heart to heart; 

And there beneath the crimson rose that nods 
And sways above us, free from toil and strife, 

We ll quaff to you forgotten by the gods- 
Poor souls who linger at the Inn of Life. 



THE PRINCESS PATS 

("Out of the original regiment only twenty re 
main! ) 

No need to call the roll today; 

No need to read the scroll today; 

No need to seek for friends you knew among the 
first command; 

Small use you know the rest of it, 

The worst of it the best of it 

Where Fate has written each address "Some 
where in No Man s Land." 

Somewhere in No Man s Land today 

You ll find the first command today, 

From Neuve Chapelle to Vimy Ridge, wherever 

they were sent; 

Their share? A triple store of it, 
They did their bit, and more of it, 
So here s to twenty who returned where fourteen 

hundred went. 

187 



INTO THE BATTLE 

Into the battle the Trooper speeds 

As the bugles call and the drums respond; 
Into the fight as the captain leads 

Where the low line waits on the hills beyond ; 
Waits for the signal then the crack 

Of blue steel rimmed with a crest of flame, 
And few ride back on the homeward track 

Where many rode when the order came. 

Into the battle the Trooper speeds, 
Into the line where the rifle rings, 

But little the Trooper hears or heeds 

The song of hate which the shrapnel sings 

The roar of battle the curst the shout 
The crash and clamor of friend and foe 

The riderless horse that wheels about 

And gallops past to the plains below. 
188 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 189 

For out from the smoke wreath, far away, 

He hears the patter of little feet ; 
The dim, far call of a child at play 

With babyhood laughter, low and sweet; 
The murmur of voices, dream-swept far 

From the little path to the cottage gate, 
Where eagerly under the evening star 

Mother and child in the twilight wait. 

Into the battle the Trooper speeds 

But somewhere out from the Far-off Lands 
An echo drifts where a soft voice pleads 

And the tender pressure of little hands ; 
A mother s lullaby from the night 

And a call to the Great White God in prayer 
That one will come from the far-off fight 

To those who wait in the darkness there. 



IN NO MAN S LAND 
In No Man s Land, I wonder if 

The gray ghosts meet when night droops down ? 
To talk of charge and countercharge, 

Of trench attack or blazing town? 
To laugh, maybe, at fear or pain, 

They knew before the shrapnel s sweep? 
Or are they now content to know 

A dreamless and eternal sleep? 

In No Man s Land, I wonder now 

If phantom millions meet at night 
To talk of old-time years at home 

Before they toppled in the fight? 
Of one who waited through the dusk 

When summer winds were on the wing; 
Or are they happy now to know 

The sleep that only graves can bring? 
190 



SONGS OF THE STALWART I9 1 

I wonder if they ever dream 

Of ancient field and country lane? 
Of tangled roses by the gate 
. Of one who now must wait in vain? 
Or do they dream of crashing on 

With old commands in some new fight? 
Or are they now content to know 

The sleep that lasts beyond the night? 

THE FALLEN 

For those who have fallen the living weep ; 

Are they not asleep ? 

They wait beyond where the shadows creep, 

But their dreams are deep. 

Since the way is short and the day is brief, 

Why should the world so waste its grief 

For those who have come to the end of the 

play 
In the old, brave way? 



192 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

"They have come to die !" you cry, agape 
At the rolling drums. 
What if they have ? Will you escape 
When the Hour comes? 

THE CANADIAN 

He left the rivers that he knew 

The mountains thrown against the sky- 
He left their valleys, pearled with dew, 

Nor paused to question or reply ; 
He left his ghost but as he fell 

He left behind more ghosts than one, 
Where, striking with the force of hell, 

He gave his answer to the Hun. 

He left the far plains endless track 
To take his place amid the slain ; 

From Vimy Ridge to Lens and back, 
He left his share of crimson stain; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 193 

He left his shattered soul to sleep 

In riven fields of gore and mud, 
But crashing through the rifles sweep, 

He took his toll in Prussian blood. 



ON THANKSGIVING DAY 

With raw souls wrenched from the breast 

Each night in the trenches of blood; 
Where six million skeletons rest 

Face down in the slime and the mud ; 
Come let us give thanks for the peace 

And the ease into which we are drawn 
But give it so low that the dead will not know, 

Nor the thousands who ll die before dawn, 
Where shrapnel sweeps earthward like hail 

And even the bravest must reel, 
Where myriad ghosts take the trail 

In the wake of the salvo of steel 



194 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Come let us give thanks for the cheer 
That covers the land where we dwell; 

But give it so low that the ghosts will not know 
As they swing into heaven or hell. 

BEYOND THE BARRIER 

Upon our shield the staining rust 

Had gathered deeper than we knew; 
Upon our blade the drifting dust 

Had dimmed and dulled the ancient hue: 
And we have floundered through the pall 

As children, who have lost their way; 
But somewhere, underneath it all, 

The Vital Spark still Waits the day. 

The ruggedness of ancient mold 
Was hidden then by softer dreams ; 

The braver line we used to hold 

May waver where the red flash gleams; 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 195 

But when the showdown came at last 
Beyond control of word or pen, 

Remembrance of a braver past 
Came back to wake us up again. 

The ancient spirit of the clan 

May shrink, at times, before the call, 
Bewildered, in the waiting span, 

Before the rousing lash shall fall ; 
But when the light flares down the field 

Beyond doubt s final barricade, 
The rust shall come from off the shield 

The dust shall flutter from the blade. 

THE STORY OF THE DRUMS 
What is the story of glory that comes 
From the roll of the drums? 
The echo of feet keeping time to the beat 
Of men who are marching by crossroad and 
street 



196 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

To the call that has echoed by land and by sea 

For the fate that may be? 

And the story is this they have come to the 

day 
When the big debt is due in the smash of the 

fray 

And if it be only the death which they owe, 
Or if it be only to suffer and grow, 
They are ready to pay. 

Even for those who are ready and strong 
The road s none too long ; 
Time moves on the fly as the seasons flash by 
Where the shadows drift in and the last echoes 

die, 
Where each in his turn passes on through the 

gate 

To whatever may wait ; 

And the story is this when the hour is due 
And it may be for me or it may be for you 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 197 

Today and Tomorrow are one and the same 
If we stick to the highway and play out the 

game, 
Be it early or late. 

OVER THE BORDER 

(Johnny Poe Killed in Action September 25, 
1915.) 

Out from the darkness we come to the light 
A dream in the sunlight a breath in the 

clover 
And then comes the call to the Tavern of 

Night 
Where the bugle is hushed and the war note 

is over; 
The roll call is heard where the Troopers stand 

by- 

And tears for the Silence where none may 
reply. 



19$ SONGS OF THE STALWART 

Over the Border dim, starless and far, 

But where a brave dream and a spirit un 
broken 
May sweep through the dusk by the last crimson 

star 
And come to God s dawn for the last laurel 

token ; 

Over the Border with Right s stalwart creed 
And the clan of his comrades to give him 
Godspeed. 

Green be his couch where the white lilies lean ; 
Crimson the roses that keep guard above him ; 
Gentle the darkness that gathers between 
The Sleeper at rest and the torn hearts that 

love him; 

God give him refuge where Life s flag is furled 
A Dreamer gone back to the dust of the 
World. 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 199 

Low be the lost winds of France that must 

creep 

Over his rest in the Last Tavern lying ; 
God, send Thy dreams where the Darkness is 

deep 
Father, Thy care when the wild storms are 

flying ; 

No monarch comes but the Soul of a Man 
We speak for a Brother for One of the 
Clan ! 

TWO SONGS OF THE FIELD 

The wind is hushed but the guns are singing 
"Over the top ! On down the field ! 

On with the flags ! Where life is bringing 
The thrill that comes from the sword and 
shield ! 

Over the top ! And on to the charge ! 
On and on through the red barrage! 



200 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

We ve cleared the road that is red and wet 
We ve opened the way for the bayonet! 

We ve sowed to the wind now reap the crop! 
Over the top, now ! Over the top !" 

The guns are hushed but the winds are singing 

"Sleep forever! On down the field. 
On with your dreams, where death is bringing 

The peace that follows the sword and shield. 
Under the top of the crust that knew 

The thud of your feet when the guns got 

through ; 
The charge is over the fight is done 

Where silence sits on the smoking gun. 
Where silence sits and the shadows creep 

And the song of the guns can t break your 
sleep." 



"HOME FROM THE FRONT" 

He has come back home, asleep; 

And it cannot be except 
Those who love him most must weep 

As the world has ever wept 
When her sons were forced to go, 

Yet, where twilight s shadows creep, 
It is something just to know 

He has come back home, asleep. 

Something just to know but this 

Where so many come no more 
Feel no more the southwind s kiss, 

Lost upon a distant shore ; 
Where so many seek the track 

Leading home, but through dim tears, 
Or some day but wander back 

To the heartache of the years. 

201 



202 SONGS OF THE STALWART 

He has come back home, asleep 

Yet, within his resting place, 
From the outer darkness deep 

Love s pale lilies hide his face ; 
And beneath blue summer skies 

Where he dreams below the sod 
But a single rosebud lies 

Now "between his heart and God." 

From the day-gleam to the night 

He has passed, and yet afar 
He has found a greater light 

Than we know from sun or star 
He has found a rarer gleam 

Where no weary tears may blur 
He will know a sweeter dream 

Where the wind-blown grasses stir. 

Where the red tide whirls and runs 
He is safe now from the foe, 



SONGS OF THE STALWART 2O3 

Where the thunder of the guns 

Is as soft as falling snow; 
And beneath blue guarding skies 

Where he dreams below the sod, 
But a single rosebud lies 

Now "between his heart and God." 



(i) 






JON 



5933 



HB. KKf i ? js7g 




1 



5 1969 21 

RECEIVED 

AUG5 69^3PM 




y UN 1 3 19179 




^ 21-50w-l, 3,< 




371636 



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY